Actually pred, you are wrong. The Panasonic gamecube IS already out and it DOES play DVDs as well as Japanese games. however, the price range is somewhere in the $400 - $500.
Back to the topic. What ever you do, do not get an x box, here is why. name 5 good games for the xbox. You cant. the only good games for it right now are Halo and DOA3 that's it. All the other good games like SSX Tricky and KO kings are out on other systems as well. and besides, rumor has it that by the end of the year no more Japanese developers will develop for the xbox. do I see the same fate of the Dreamcast coming to the xbox. I think so.
now, PS2 has the most games of which a lot are good. But then again, even a lot more are crap. The gamecube on the other side doesn't have that many games but that is b/c Nintendo prefers quality over quantity. and if you kept up with this years E3 then you know that Nintendo has THE BEST lineup for this fall and holiday season.
I myself own a PS2 and a Gamecube and probably will own an xbox sometime in the near future. but thats only because i work at a video game store and get discounts