And another thing...If one card is better than the other on it's own am I correct to assume that 2 of the better card in SLI will also be better than 2 of the lesser card also in SLI?
The 8800 GT (plain) will beat the 9600 GT (any).
I'd recommend getting two plain 8800GT and OC'ing them yourself (it's quite easy but a little time consumming), the Extreme editions are just factory OC'ed cards, so why waste money if you can do it yourself, specially considering that XFX warranty covers OC'ing.
BTW if you get an 8800GT make sure to replace the reference cooler for an aftermarket one, the reference cooler is quite bad and the card tends to overheat.
I am a very noob builder and I do not plan on overclocking anytime soon.
Do you still recommend the regular 8800 GT or the extreme edition?
Why not a Radeon 3870??
I was also wondering:
Are vid cards that take up 2 expansion slots gonna be the norm from now on?
Am I able to SLI 2 cards of different #s? Like SLI a 8800GT with a 8800GTX or something like that?