Who said that if you wanted to do Crossfire you had to go expensive? Today graphics cards are starting to get cheaper. In fact, an X1950Pro Crossfire setup is starting to look better and better every day with prices on these cards frequently dropping. Core 2 processors can be had reasonably cheap, even a Pentium dual core E2xxx processor makes for a good system with 1GB of RAM, it's just up to a smart motherboard choice to help sweeten the deal now.
P965 and P35 have been the boards of choice, but unfortunately they carry a bit more of a price premium due to the need for additional controllers for their IDE setups, in turn taking up more PCB space. The best option is to go back to the old school chipsets like the 945 and 946, until now it's been impossible to run Core 2 and Crossfire on them though, but thankfully the 945P "C" stepping has arrived.
945P"C" is the latest chipset from the older revision to make its way from the Intel labs. Its design while not official, does support Core 2 processors up to 1333MHz FSB, though some overclocking is needed (memory wise). The FSB is quite capable of handling this. Thanks to AMD's open platform for Crossfire, all you need are two PCI Express x16 slots to house the video cards and you're in business. 945GC now allows for this setup.
Today we have been given ASRock's Conroe1333 eSATA2 base motherboard for the mid-range to value level PC platform, hoping to snag users wanting Crossfire at a more reasonable price.