Dave Winer blogged about how good it would be if students and journalists ran their own servers: http://dave.smallpict.com/2013/08/26/studentsCanRunTheirOwnServers. In part this is such a good idea because of a new wrinkle in the state of things: the government's massive and oppressive surveillance on its own citizens. In part it is a good idea due to the old notions of self-reliance: running your own server today is like maintaining your own car engine in 1938. In comments, Dave was lauded for the proposal and a wish was expressed of a box that would handle the tough stuff for you: you would customize it but it would give you the basic hardware and allow you to proceed from there (rather like buying a car in 1938 before you change your own oil, tune it up, and maintain it).
There are in fact a couple projects underway to realize something like this. One was proposed by Eben Moglen, the Columbia University law professor. His idea was a server based on the SheevaPlug model, that would operate in a mesh network and guarantee (insofar as possible) one's privacy and anonymity in the face of oppressive governments. This was hailed and work was begun and today you can see how far they have gotten at the https://www.freedomboxfoundation.org.
There is also a variant of this work based on the Linus Debian distribution, at https://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox.