Looking at the File Server category two distinct groups emerge:
Prepackaged servers - All have a web interface
EnGarde - Based on Red Hat
FreeNAS - Based on FreeBSD
SME Server - Based on CentOS
Roll your own server:
I am wondering if it would be best to start with a prepackaged server and after gaining some knowledge I could then roll my own after I really determine what I want/need. It is one thing to plan this all out but another to actually implement it for real.
I finally started to review HTPC and quickly eliminated a few options:
VDR does not look like a mature project and it does not look like much has been done to it over the last two years. Found no support group and little documentation.
LinuxMCE looks like an interesting project based on Kubuntu that has some maturity but has a lot of bells and whistles that I am not interested in like home automation, phone system and security system.
Sagetv is not free (as in beer or freedom) from what I can tell. That is too bad because it is a mature product with many features.
A quick search reveled several sites that compared all three of these distros, a coupe of these were:
It looks like KnoppMyth's biggest drawback is a the inability to upgrade easily. Other website reviews tended to favor MythDora but there was no clear winner of which performs better.