My first question is - what're we gonna call you in 2004?
ok - here's one guy's humble opinion:
#1: listen to mccork on hardware - very important - get a REAL server...
#2: ram on pII machines is cheap, ram on REAL servers is not - you might have to fight the management tooth-and-nail on this - get at least 3GB and you'll be set for a while
#3: reporting on the data is equally important as the apps using the db's - don't skimp - here's an idea: get 2 servers, run all the online apps on one, use the other as a failover AND as the box you run reports from - run the reports as a job and output them to disk in crystal in xml format - that way your users don't need individual seat licenses for the reports - it's what we do and the best way to keep the licensing down while still providing dynamic querying of data via the xml...
#4: listen to david.poole - get your backups in order and your replication strategy to your failover box...
#5: if you need help w/development of reports, by all means, contact me - i'm looking for some contract work!
so, why don't you share the licensing wisdom with the group? i'm always looking for as much advice on that subject as possible.