I am about ready to start working on my first build. I have researched a lot over the last few weeks and I am about to pull to trigger on all the parts now.
One of the things I am still not sure about is my mainboard.
I am currently looking at these 2:
ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 ~ 155 €
AsRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ~ 120 €
The obvious advantage of the Extreme 3 is the price, it has been getting great reviews and will probably serve me well since I am not really interested in all the extra features of the ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z.
I know a lot of people trust Asus and AsRock is not very well liked because it has this "cheap" stench to it but I cannot really judge by myself. (when it comes to their Z68 boards, I have seen nothing but praise from most reputable sites online)
This is my first build and I want to get everything running as smoothly as possible, I will overclock my CPU right away and push it further along the road as necessary so I do care about a good quality board that will last long.
I looked at both Asus and Asrock and went to all the review sites I could find to see which one to go for (I was looking at a slightly cheaper Z68 based board).
Historically, I've always gone for Gigabyte for my builds, but thought i'd check out the latest reviews and see what came out best. In the end I went for the Asus P8Z68-V.
Its a tough call, the Asrock's have also had good reviews, but as you say you don't know the longevity of the components and Asus have historically had good reviews especially when it comes to the Components they use (Jap Capacitors etc etc).
One thing to note - Whichever board you DO go for, make sure you check on the RAM QVL (Qualified Vendor List), especially if you intend to OC straight away. I initially chose Corsair for my board having used them, again historically, but found after the fact that Asus boards are a bit picky when it comes to RAM. I don't know if Asrock are the same, but definately check out the latest QVL for the boards on the manufacturers website and choose an appropriate one. (I ended up going with Kingston PNP RAM, slightly more expensive, but v v good!).
Good luck with the build and hope its hassle free!
BTW - If you have enough in your budget get an SSD as it makes life and OC'ing SO much easier!
not sure if you are still looking, but I will add my 2 cents. I just built off of the asus maximus iv gene-z/ gen 3 (thats a mouthfull), i5 2500k, HAF 912, G.skill 8 13333, CM 212+ cpu fan. And I love it so far. The asus was more compact to work with when installing the hardware, but the ease of getting it to work was awesome. OC was super easy, wasnt going for extreme, just wanted to bump it up a bit, hit the auto tune and BAM was at at 4.3 plus it OC the GPU (superclocked EVGA 560 Ti). go with the asus, and when the prices drop on the 7000 series go with it then, I am expecting this board will last a few years for me.