3. X48 motherboard, Q9450 overclocked, 280 series video card (9800 GX2 is a stopgap waste ala 7900GX2)
Agreed. If you don't need 2 video cards you're better off with Intel's chipsets, so go with X48. Also, a GTX 280 will be faster than a 9800GX2, especially in games that aren't optimized for SLI.