|The boxes made of something other than plastic, where modular components can be inserted, discarded, or added on as new levels of power become available? |
Well, you can make components out of wood if you want to - I was reading an article in 2600 about someone who made their entire box out of wood. And, to an extent, current boxes are modular, they're just a pig to change the modules on. You could go around just upgrading chips, motherboards, graphics cards etc, and there are people who do, but for most people it's not worth the effort.
I'd like to see computers like hi-fi separates, a stack of boxes that are easily changeable, but let's face it, the commercial considerations are against this idea. If you can get someone to buy a whole new system every couple of years that's far better. The market leaders want to sell you an entire set-up, not bits and pieces.
If you want to save the environment you have to become a hardware geek, right now. (Personally I hate hardware and can barely install a CD drive.)