I'm sort of in between you and the earlier guys here, swarfing -- I do remember the ELF coming out in the pop electronics mag, but couldn't figure out what i was good for. But a couple years later did know! And was saving up for 4116s to piggyback dead bug style on top of the 4K memories I had in a 6802 powered Color Computer. I think 16k was about $100 then.
I remember admiring the Sinclairs, actually, especially the price, but being on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
The LNW-80 had about 100 IC's to find (surplus mostly) and populate. And I don't know how many support components....hardest part to locate for me actually turned out to be the clock crystal!
I programmed the EPROMS myself, and overclocked the Z-80 to 5.33 mhz compared to the under 2 mhz of the TRS-80 model 1 which it was similar to. This was a "high resolution" color computer, too -- before the IBM PC came out, and higher resolution and faster even after it did. I did eventually get an original IBM PC (still have it) but it was a definite step back.
I programmed the LNW in FORTH, and wrote a wire frame graphics program to rotate and display boat lines in color and 3D from a table of offsets. At that time a terminal to do the same cost $20,000.
By 1991 it was outdated enough that I set it on top of the dustbin in front of my house, and hope somebody would take it before it was trashed.