questionsinexpensive network attached storage?

vote-for7vote-against
vote-for6vote-against

At that price point it is almost impossible to find a 4-bay NAS. Your best bet if you are looking for a bargain NAS is to use an old desktop. Then, you can probably fit up to 6 or 7 drives, and most motherboards made in the past 5 years support some type of RAID, although granted the power consumption might be higher.

If you do decide to go the desktop conversion route, I would look up FreeNAS, it has a decent web interface and works fairly well.

If you went with all new parts it would be possible to do for ~$150ish, if you re-used parts you might not even have to pay a dime.

vote-for4vote-against

I could only find ones with 2 bays at that price point, like this one:
http://tinyurl.com/2b87afz

The ones I saw with 4 bays were $300+.

vote-for5vote-against

Spend the money for a decent case (I prefer Antec), with multiple bays (as @killersquirel11 suggested), and use a decent OS (I personally prefer either FreeBSD or OpenBSD, but Linux is also an option, of course). I have friends using FreeNAS and a couple of beige box computers with multiple drive bays in just this way. I actually think that this is a better solution than most of the products that you will find in the consumer arena for NAS.

Decent NAS can absorb a large budget in a heartbeat, and the price tends to start at around the cost of a new car. Here's a fun toy as an example:

http://www.emc.com/products/family/celerra-family.htm

vote-for3vote-against

y'all are awesome, thanks!