Now that I have my VOIP setup up and running again, I've decided to move from running asterisk inside a virtual machine over to a dedicated server. Instead of cobbling together a server out of old computer parts I've gone and bought an Atcom IP-01. It's a tiny (about the same size as a 4 port switch) embedded linux server that not only saves space compared to an old PC, it's low power and silent as well.
The IP-01 is part of a family of asterisks servers, there's the IP-02,04 and 08 - the number reflects the number of FXO/FXS ports that can be installed. The IP-01 has one port and I decided to go with an FXO port.
It has a web based UI (which will be familar to anyone who has used an Asterisk web GUI) as well as SSH and telnet access. If you log in via SSH you're greated by a fairly standard Linux command line - you can attach to the running Asterisk console via asterisk -r, just like any Asterisk install.
The only problem I ran into was that I needed to do a firmware update to get the FXO to work right. Other than that getting it up and running was straightforward.