I'm just starting the shopping process for my long-desired cyclocross/winter bike/commuter build and am trying to keep the entire thing below $1000, or not much over. I know that for that price, the BD mail orders will surely come up, and I'm keeping that as an option. However, the fun, pride, and reward that comes with doing it all yourself makes me want to build ground-up if possible.
I want aluminum to keep the build light, cheap, and give the same feel as my road bike. So far, I've priced ebay for Sram Apex shifters, RD, cassette, chain, brakes, and tires (all about $700 or a little less). I have a FD, bars, seat post, and some crap wheels to get started, though I'd really like to replace the wheels. All in all, I'm left with $300-$400 for a frame to keep me around $1000 and still need pedals (probably SPD), MTB shoes, and in the not-so-distant future, wheels.
So far, the only frameset I've found in this range is the Scattante XRL Cross on Performance. I just used the road version of this frame as a build for my girlfriend and was actually impressed with the overall quality for $300. However, I know there must be others similar or better that I've just not found. Thus, I consult y'all - what did you use for a build on the cheap?