How does this sound? He does not want to spend a lot more. He mentioned 4GB of RAM so he does not have to worry about upgrading (should last the life of the motherboard).
If there is something I can do to save some money, but not give up a lot of performance, I would be game for that. Games are things like HL2, Test Drive, and similar on a smaller LCD (1280x1024 I think).
I don't think that mobo is supposed to be that great, could get the asrock p43 for $75 instead, tweaktown just did a review on it good overclocker, but the power connect is near the cpu, only a problem if you have a bottom mounted psu or a huge cooler. Mushkin has similar ram that is cheaper after rebate and comes with free pcmark. Could take the money you save from cheaper ram and get the biostar tp45 instead for $105 after mir, one of the best value overclockers and supports 8x8 crossfire. Finally you could wait for the e5200 cpu to be released, should be extremely overclocking freindly and cost only ~$85.
If really on a budget and willing to OC:
P35-DS3L (good OCing) $85
E2180/E2160 (OC easily to 3-3.25Ghz; upgrade later to E8x00 or better) $60-70
ATI 4850 $175-220
XIGMATEK S1283 (+ bolt in kit) $40
2*2GB DDR2 800 ($80)
Corsair 650TX ($80 after MIR, good quality) [Don't skimp on the PSU esp. when running high end GPU ] http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Total cost for above parts: $~450
That leaves ~$50+ for HDD and DVD RW,Case, OS, etc.
Imo, a 4850 might be an overkill on the 1280x1024 LCD esp. with games like HL2. Check out the 8800GS/9600GSO (~$60-80 after MIRs) and see if it would be a suitable replacement for the 4850.