Intended use of box: Ubuntu, VMWare Server running LAMP stack and oracle plus other various applications. This is going to be used as my dev box at home.
Ideas on spec:
4 gigs of ram (2 x 2gb) so I can go up to 8gigs later
CPU - Probably 64 bit
MOBO - Gigabyte to support 8gigs of ram, 64 bit, etc..
Vid Card - Cheaper vid card probably nvidia. Not doing alot of graphic intensive work.
Case - Probably a mid tower case will be fine.
No sound card
I already have a 400w psu unless you suggest somthing a bit beefier.
CD-DVD rom probably just get a liteon or something cheap.
Main areas I am looking to dump my money on are in the cpu and memory. Any ideas/suggestions would be great. This box will be used as a dev box so it will need to be a bit beefy.
Price I am willing to wiggle between 800-1000. I am really looking for a machine that has potential to be upgraded in 3-5 years to keep it ticking for a bit longer.
I would think a Core2Quad Q6600, GigaByte P35-DS3R and a 2x2GB kit of DDR2-800 would make a great system for multi-tasking in linux. You can pick up an 8600GT or 8500GT or even the lowly 8400GS if you don't need any graphics power. All of this will have no problem running on a good 400W power supply, but if you have a generic no-name brand PSU you might want to upgrade to something like an Antec Earthwatts 500W, 430W or 380W depending on what has the best value when you look, they are quite efficient and have enough power for your system. Main reason I list all 3 is sometimes you will find the 500W as cheap as the 380W due to rebate or sale.
Definitely an Nvidia video card. ATI support is getting better, but it's still not at the level of Nvidia. If you're going to have a wireless card, strongly consider against one based on a Broadcom chipset... my Dell laptop has a Broadcom wi-fi chipset and it's been nothing but a hassle working with Linux. Sure wish I'd have spent the extra $29 and got the Intel wi-fi card instead. You said no sound... and that's good because I don't believe an X-Fi is supported by Linux yet... ugh... damn you Creative!
The 7600GT on newegg is cheap, like 84.99 and should meet your needs. With the DS3R board everyone is recommending I think you'd be just fine as well. There's a cheap $90 kit of 2x2gb G.Skill DDR2 800 ram that would be pretty awesome as well.
Good choices. As far as the PSU, I would get a new one as well. Here is a case with an Antec Earthwatts 500 included for cheap. I do like the Corsair 450VX, but the Earthwatts are also made by Seasonic and are good PSUs, and what a deal. The 450VX is $79.99 the Antec case and EA500 are $109.95.