well, I’m no pro or anything but I use two monitors when I model and when I paint so I can have reference or inspiration on one monitor and model or paint on the main one.
I also like having the second monitor so I can do things like this while I’m working
But for a ‘cheap’ workstation, you’re basically going to be using a regular old PC. They don’t put anything in those systems that any other PC wouldn’t have. If you’re doing 3D then a powerful card helps, but the way OpenGL drivers are going lately, who knows.
The only thing a 3D workstation has that a normal PC might not would be a rendering interface, but those things usually cost a ton and only a few apps can use them. http://www.computerarts.co.uk/reviews/hardware/graphics_cards/pure_rendering_card for instance.
But if you’re not going to do high end stuff, just getting a PC off the shelf with a good CPU, decent RAM and a nice 3D card will do you just fine for just about anything. I personally have one of the crappiest computers you can get… I don’t think you could buy ANYTHING as bad as my PC right now… I seem to get along just fine with Blender.
The current photoshop barely runs on my PC if that’s any indication on how bad my PC is I tried out a demo for CS 3 and i could paint without any lag at all as long as I was painting on 800x600 image and with very small brushes.
If you mean how I physically have my desk set up:
I don’t have a computer desk, I have a folding table. Larger working area.
Two widescreen 19" monitors, my Wacom and my keyboard are in front of me, mouse to the right hand side, mic to the left. Speakers all around for the 5.1 audio while I’m working and snack food, jewel cases, DVD spindles and various other things scattered about. My PC is on the floor out of the way. The desk has just the stuff that I need to work on it. I mean, aside from all the trash and shit.
And I have pictures and posters and crap polluting my walls. Stuff that I like I print out and tack to a wall. I also have a tack board, but that just has my own storyboards and various notes and crap on it.
So yeah… that’s my work space…