Can I do this on my budget?

I’m trying to get my company setup with a basic Asterisk system for $1000-1500. What I am going to have is 4 PSTN lines and I’m thinking server with 4 port FXO and 10 or so VoIP phones. The office is currently only wired with ethernet so I am trying to avoid the cost of rewiring.

I was going to purchase or build a simple server, but for under $500 I should be able to find something decent. Sound about right? Then I was looking at 4-port FXO cards, but do I need hardware echo cancellation? Anything else to lookout for? Then just buying a lot of used phones off of ebay. I need something that has a in and out for ethernet, not all offices are wired with two connections. I’ve the the Snom phones for reasonable prices. Others could use softphones, which shouldn’t really cost anything aside from the headset right?

Right now I have to decide if I am going to buy an old PBX system and use it for a year or two or if I can go ahead and start with an Asterisk setup. The other is going to cost at least $1000, so if I can do something with asterisk, which is more capable, then that’s what I’d like to push. I’m just trying to make sure my facts are straight.

Pretty much any post 2000 system would do what you need. And you don’t need any cards for trunks when you can get sip trunks and have your number(s) ported to them. The phones will be your major cost, but you can recoup that in no time with the money you’ll save by using sip trunks.