AMD=reliable, runs cooler than Intel, excellent for OC'in, awesome for graphics...
i too was 1st time builder, i JUST built this new build with the help of the manuals and of this Forum.
CPU-get 3200+, save your money to afford the dual-core as they become cheaper
MEMORY- Corsair VS 1GB (2x512MB)
PSU- that or the Fortron 450WPSU i got, 450 is plenty
gotta have CPU/Heatsink Fan, PSU (24-pin plus 4-pin ATX12V), memory, graphics card, case wires, and a CD-ROM drive USB or IDE in order to run everything, look at my posts/questions, may help you http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Build-Time-Installing-Setup-Suggestions-ftopict171582.html
good luck, don't rush, ask if you have ANY doubts, that's what i did, i thank everyone on TG Froumz that helped. it saved me over $200 from taking it somewhere to set it up, plus i get the satisfaction of knowing that I, built it, haha, if i can do it, anyone can, trust me...