I know where next month's IT budget is going.
Once I'm done with the initial setup, can I just leave the Pi as headless on the network and connect via SSH all the time? Funny enough, I have a spare crappy 10 year old Dell monitor, but not a spare keyboard. (I suppose I could grab one from Goodwill...) More importantly, the place I'd put it where it can access the router via Ethernet (e.g. my desk) isn't conducive to having a micro PC set up on it full time,
Yes, that's what I do. My main (read: production) Pi runs Murmur and an IRC bot, and I maintain both via SSH using PuTTy. It's very slick.
I'm planning on ordering a second board here in the next few weeks for tinkering. Other ideas I have are:
RSS Feed Aggregator (RIP Google Reader)
Discourse Discussion boards (See Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2013/02/civilized-discourse-construction-kit.html)
Integrated garage door opener (so I can open the door for my dad when I need him to check on my dogs or something without having to leave him a key) as well as other home automation
Other little fiddly things.
Basically I want to have a stable server my friends can rely on and a separate dev environment I can blow away and reload as needed.