Sometimes unlocking the cores works fine, other times it causes more problems than it's worth. Although If you get the setup I listed you could also go with a 5xxx series ATI card, which is better in price vs performance.
I got an ASUS Crosshair III AM3 motherboard, AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz cpu, and 2x2GB DDR3 1333 GSkill ram for Christmas. I put it all together last night and ran 3dMark06 again... here is what I got:
Score - 16407
SM 2.0 - 6434
SM 3.0 - 7858
CPU - 4488
Still not as high as I thought it would be but it is a definite improvement.
I was able to run COD: MW2 maxed out (with VSync on) while recording with Fraps (Full-Size) and ran at 60fps constant the whole time so I am more than happy. My CPU was DEFINITELY the bottleneck.
Thank you all for your responses... have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!