Mac Mini Alternatives

I've been pondering the idea of buying a Mac Mini to act as a fileserver/desktop computer recently, but they're not, by any means, cheap and the upsell options are fairly gruesome (can't get SSD without starting at the notably more expensive i7 spec, etc.). So, I thought I'd check out the Wintel alternatives and, so far, all the ones I've found are manifestly inferior with inferior specs, higher prices, and uglier designs. Does anyone know of better alternatives in the Wintel world?