I finally got my act together and stepped into the digital age. Just spent an evening and most of a night installing and fine-tuning this brilliant setup.
The selected Netgear ReadyNAS Duo (Network Attached Storage Device) provides 2x 1TB mirrored diskspace and comes with SlimServer preinstalled. SlimServer can be upgraded to the newer SqueezeCenter with minimal effort (although I had some problems along the way and had to repeat the process several times to make it work.) Obviously it is no bad thing that the NAS can be used for ordinary backup purposes as well. The NAS does make a bit of noise from the fan and disks, so it will have to be placed outside the livingroom, but that has been my plan from the beginning. It is quite small in size (about the size of 3 harddisks).
Installation of the Squeezebox was a piece of cake and the whole setup works very well so far. It is probably a bit slower than a Windows Homeserver setup would have been, but so far the performance is okay for me. Only the scanning process (after adding new material) takes a while to run. Anyway, the performance can't really be determined until I have ripped lots of cds to the NAS music directory. The soundquality from musicfiles is really good, and I doubt my cd-player will see much use from now on. Once a CD is ripped and tagged it is much easier to play it from the Squeezebox.
The remote control for the Squeezebox duet is very well designed. It has a very userfriendly interface and the colordisplay is really great. It has a bit of a plastic feel to it, but all in all it is still a very great electronic plaything.
To judge from my experiences so far, I will surely recommend looking into a system like this, if you want a really cool way to play your digital musicfiles. It requires some technical insight to perform the installation process, since it is not entirely plug-and-play. But that said, it could have been worse. And once it works, it certainly kicks ass.