The next part of this project was to get a monitor. I started doing a little searching around (offline and on) and the best deal I could find was on Newegg for about $130, which I did not want to spend that much.
Luckily though, after asking around, I found out that my nice girlfriend had an extra monitor that was just sitting in her garage. :)
So I took that off of her hands and saved myself from not being so frugal.
After that I had to decide on the operating system. Now keeping in mind that I had a computer that was not quite on the cutting edge, I looked at my options. In the end I decided to go with Ubuntu (Linux) 8.04. It's free, and free is almost always good. Also I didn't mind the slight learning curve.