Thanks to all your help, I believe I've narrowed things down to a final parts list.
First, a few things:
(1) I wont be overclocking
(2) No SLI or Crossfire
(3) I will use my monitor, HDD, CDRW (40X Hitachi) and DVD (16X Liteon)
(4) Sound is important, but just enough to allow me to enjoy game/mp3 music
Me going crazy total: 1422.97 (perhaps too far away from my 1000 budget...)
Finally, I'm not sure if it's a bad idea to be using my old optical drives, so I've been looking into some stuff. It would really put me out of budget, but do you guys think I should add on some new drives? If so, is there one you recommend. I just don't want my old drives hindering performance (if they even have the ability to do that)
Sound Card: Rip, use onboard
Hard Drive: Waste of 160 .99 Burgers from BurgerKing, get a $80 160GB SATA drive from Newegg.com, <8% performance difference and you could get 2 and have faster than 1 Raptor. See? That's smart buying .
Got a point, but if you're going to do a lot of multitasking involving the HD, the raptor will be quicker with higher i/o requests. Like if you run SQL for your cd collection database
Bah, take that techno garbal and put it inside a box and mail it to LT-Data, he loves that, I call him Mr. TDP. F*ck those "I/O" crap, real-word performance, RAID 0 (of any drives) > Raptor, in everything.
I'd drop the Sound Blaster and the X1900XT. Unless you are playing above 1280 you don't need a $450 card. I have a 7800GT with a X2 4400+ and I can play D3 at 1280 HQ with pretty much all the eye candy. I went for the MSI Platinum cause it comes with a 24Bit Live! It's SLI but who says you have to use the second slot?
Nice setup... the Soundcard is good too, since i have it and really notice the difference over onboard sound with anything to do with audio, though it may seem a bit pricy. An Audigy 4 would be just as good but on the cheaper end. The X1900XT is a very good card, though again on the expensive side, but i assure you, its worth it and would last longer than a 7800GT.
x1900XT definatly. Once more shader bound titles start to come out the puny 256MB of RAM on the 7900GT cards and it's inferior Shader capabilities (though patched now with some shader tweaks) will prove to be too much.
Games are moving towards a 7:1 Shader:Texture ratio. So the x1900XT will last you quite a while.
Looks good to me. I say keep the X1900XT because in a few months you'll want 512MB of RAM instead of 256MB. My next system will have a 512MB video card if not a 1GB card (you know they're around the corner).