Just now (albeit belatedly) I came across a small, fun $35 computer for hobbyists: the Raspberry Pi.
Have you heard of it?
This recalls _why and others' passionate advocacy of "The Little Coder's Predicament" with projects such as hackety-hack that provide hackable computers again for children.
BTW, Raspberry Pi runs Debian Linux (wheezy).
Copyright (c) 2013 Mark D. Blackwell.