Motherboard choice advice(i850/SiS645/Via?)

Hey guys,
This is my first post to these forums...
I just got back from studying abroad for 6 months...and it's time to replace the ol' computer...
after trying to read a lot to get caught up on what's going on, i've come to this:
I'm looking for a P4 system (soc 478), but man, the chipset choice is always so hard!
originally i was just going to go with the asus p4t-e i850 setup, since rdram is not much more expensive than ddr333 at this time (like just about the same price), and the p4t-e is getting all kinds of good reviews (btw, anyone have one?)...but then i read the tom's hdware article on all the chipsets and got confused...
now i see the Asus P4S333 board out there for ~$45 cheaper than the p4t-e, and it uses the SiS645 chipset...also, the Via p4x266a was made to sound really good in the article, what with usb2.0, ata133, and all...but then again the ram was slower at ddr266 (so why does the tom's article recommend it?) !!!
also, a lot of these boards are having optional onboard lan nowadays...good/bad? anyone have experience with this?

huff...ok, i know it's a lot, but here's what i'm asking about:
go with i850 asusp4t-e, sis645 asus p4s333? or sit on my butt waiting for the new via boards to come out (btw, i have a HORRIBLE experience with my last via chipset)?
i don't want to sit around, i want the upgrade! i'm not finding much in the way of sis645 boards out there except the asus, which sounds pretty good...but hey guys, the big deal was supposed to be that rdram is way expensive...but the ddr333 ram is just about as much, and the sis645 board isn't much cheaper! (at least the asus one...there's the ecs board...but asus has all sortsa nifty features =) )

so whadda ya'll say? i know everyone comes on here asking for help...but i could really use your expertise...i'm a student, and i only have 1 shot to do this right-preferably without feeling like an idiot a month after my purchase...
thanks guys
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  1. oh, i forgot to say, i'm just gonna haul over my other components mostly...all i need is the chip/board/ram/case to do it...
    and i already think i goofed on the case! I was gonna order everything yesterday until i read more and got second thoughts-hence, posting here...but i had already ordered the Inwin-s508 case, and just now saw this AWESOME looking case on newegg (under the "click here for more hot deals" showroom):
    CHENBRO PC61069 Mid-Tower Tooless Intel P4/ AMD CASE ** Front USB
    OMG, looks so sweet! Look at the pics! pci cards have screwless-inserts! anyone know about this case?
  2. I like the black antec sx 1030 (server tower) for $88. It may be available in other colors. As for mobo choices, you can't go wrong with the asus p4t-e or abit th7-II. Newegg had refurbished th7-II for only $135 with free shipping about 5 days ago. Don't know if you will have problems with the via chipset on the new 333ddram boards. I use onboard sound, and this reduces the chance of conflicts. Also, spend some time reading posts in the video section, and this may give you a clue as to what potential problems you may have with your setup. I also recommend you wait for northwood cpus to be officially released on Jan 7th. The 1.8 and 1.6 (with 512k cache) versions should be out soon, and may be in your price range. Intel is also expected to lower the price of the current socket 478 cpus shortly after northwood's release. Finally, don't forget the power supply. Check intel's website for recommendations.
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