Inicially, I was going with one of Corsair's H series for my build, then I pondered the Swiftech H220 but after reading alot of articles and reviews about them (some which contained UNFORTUNATE traumatizing stories) I decided to stay with the good ol' Air Coolers instead. XD
So what are the best Air Coolers out there in the market for the 2011 socket of an i7-3970X?
Here's a small list of the ones I've collected so far:
Phanteks have good reviews and are aesthetically pleasing.
D14 are good but very ugly in my opinion.
Silver Arrow is another good one to check out.
You'll get simialr results with all of them get the cheapest or the one you like the most
Yeah I share the same opinion about the Noctua D14 as you, good but not aesthetically appealing to the eye, specially for someone that is building a system that is mainly blue.
About the Phanteks I'm a bit hesitant cuz I never heard of that brand before, so I'm a bit afraid of the durability of that cooler.