If you don't want to get involved in techy crap, then maybe you are better off staying with a console! You are always going to have settings to fiddle with, and not always just in the game itself. I've occasionally ploughed into .ini files, remember doing this in Alice: Madness Returns to get it to remove the 30 FPS limit and let me have 60 FPS. And this is really at the heart of the reason for bothering with PC gaming at all - if you have the time to invest, you can tinker with things to get better performance.
Also, if you buy a system and can't play solitaire on it, it has to be a faulty machine or faulty drivers, surely. If you're building a machine yourself I can understand this sort of thing happening, but if you buy a pre-built machine with Windows installed by the vendor, I can't imagine any reason why wouldn't send the machine back if you couldn't play Solitaire on it.
In terms of what you can get from your money: spend £500 wisely and it'll play whatever you want (albeit you'll have to tinker with the specs). I personally haven't spent £1000 on a PC for years, and my best PC runs The Witcher 2 fine. I got a barebones bundle mobo with dual core Intel G530 processor (2.4GHz) for £99 recently. I put an NVidia GT530 in it and it plays Borderlands and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. On low settings, for sure ... but the whole thing cost me less than £250. If you have £500 to play with you can put something pretty decent together.
Soon you will have forgotten all things: soon all things will have forgotten you. (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 7)