Matt, the way I started on this was to visit a large office furniture store, not an "office everything including staples" type of store to see what features were available on stock desks. I wanted to see what features I really wanted, what might be nice, how they were built, etc. After having a particle board $100 desk collapse leaving me with a computer in my lap, I had decided that there would be no particle board. I was lucky in that I had a 60 year old, solid oak desk that I bought 30 years ago for around $25 and refinishing this was one option that I had available. To make a long and boring story short, that was the option that I choose. I would have modified it if necessary, but did not have to. I did build a narrow separate desk at the same height to hold the computer and a large oak faced plywood bookcase to hold CD's, books, paper, etc. I really had a lot of fun doing it and was lucky in that one of the stores that I checked first said that I could measure up one of their units, if it was the best thing that I found. However, their "solid oak" desks did not cost much more than what it would have cost to build a new one out of the same oak faced plywood that they used and I would have bought one of them if I did not have the other option available. The only other real advise I can offer is to not let anyone sell you a desk with any particle board in it.