IIRC the june gfx buying guide was saying 2x GTX275s are cheaper than a single GTX295 for almost identical performance. You could probably save a bit of money by switching to two 4870s or two gtx 260s. If it's worth doing that would depend on the resolution of your monitor and how long you hope to keep the system for.
OK, I appologize for the incomplete format. I did read some of the guides and somehow glazed over that one. I guess anticipation of the new system rushed me, so here is my revised information:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Would like to place the order as soon as I am sure of the items. Saturday/sunday would be good so delivery will be mid week after the monday rush but before the weekend.
BUDGET RANGE: $2000ish
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: World of Warcraft, other gaming including FPS, RTS and RPG, future MMO if wow ever bores me. I like to run my games with high detail, but don't necessarily need it dialed up to very top as long as things look really nice and smooth.
Adobe CS3, Movie Maker, DVD/CD Burning, watch and rip movies, web surfing, etc.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already have
Keyboard - Saitek Eclipse (USB)
Mouse - Razer Copperhead (USB)
Speakers - Creative 5.1
Monitor - Viewsonic VX922 (19" 2ms LCD Monitor 270 cd/m2 650:1)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg is preferred vendor but will use other reputable companies. Prefer one stop shopping rather than order piecemeal.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, Asus, MSI, eVga, Western Digital, nVidia are brands I've used and trusted, but again, I'm open minded, quality/performance/price are considerations.
OVERCLOCKING: I think so, but not sure exactly how OC works.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Wasn't considering it, but per the above recommendation, sounds like a better option.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be a long term (3 year+ target) system.
One last question before I post a build on here; how attached to your monitor are you ? What I mean is that I can post you a nice i7 build on here with that blue ray and I can also fit in a nice high resolution 24" monitor all for under $2,000.
For $2000, you can build an incredibly fast machine, which should definitely last your 3 year goal. However, if you're planning on using your 19" monitor, you're going to be wasting a lot of that power for at least a year of it.
Personally, if I had a $2k budget, I'd get a 22"+ monitor to go along with it. I'll list out some components you should look at if you're planning on keeping with the 19"
Also: Note that wow doesn't support SLI/CF. If you want the graphics maxed to the teeth, then one fast card is definitely better than two, but most graphics cards higher than a 9800gt can handle wow with 90% of the settings up. Thats a choice you need to make. I'll list components for a single card.
12GB DDR3 (I realize 6gb is the suggested right now, but in 2.5 years, 6gb won't be worth jack - and 12gb will easily fit in your budget)
Blu-Ray Burner (this is optional, but again I'm looking to your 3 year goal.)
SLI capable mobo, that has enough space for two double space cards and a free pci or pci-e slot (for a second gtx285 later, and the free slot for upgrades that may happen, USB3.0 or crap like that)
obviously a large enough case to keep two gtx 285s and a core i7 cool
~750w high efficiency PSU (no reason not to with this budget)
I wouldn't suggest going balls to the wall with HDD space, since that will be MUCH cheaper to upgrade in the future when you need it.
If you don't plan on doing any excessive OCs, you wont need an aftermarket cooler. You may also want to think about going higher than an i7 920 if you aren't willing to learn how to overclock it (obviously overclocking is MUCH cheaper)
I'll update this post with actual links to items when I get a chance