HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $85. Cheaper, and it's the fastest drive available. It's out of stock right now, so either wait for it, or get a Seagate 7200.12 1 TB for the same price. It's the next best thing. WD is a long ways back.
Optical: There's a Samsung 22x SATA DVD Burner for $27 w/ free shipping on Newegg. Not a big difference, but why spend more on something that doesn't really mater?
GPU: HD 5770 $145 after rebate. I'd really like to put a 5850 in the build, but that's a $300 card, and it's already over budget. A 5870 would be $400.
Excellent, thanks! I'm still digging a bit to see where I can find the best deals - probably some combination of newegg (no tax) and amazon (free shipping), but your suggestions definitely helped cut the price down in a few areas.
Regarding the GPU, I'm still a bit undecided on where to go with that. The main issue is that I eventually plan to drop in high-end cards, but I'm not certain that I want to make that investment knowing that nVidia is likely to make announcements in the next couple of months about Fermi and any other cards coming with it - even if I don't end up going that route, the availability of new nvidia technology that will compete with ATI's 5970 will almost certainly impact the available market in some way.
Since I don't immediately need to be doing a lot of gaming, part of me is inclined to just drop in a throwaway, like an HD 4670, until Fermi comes out and I decide whether to invest in the 5970 or a couple of 5870s.
None of these kits has many reviews, which doesn't really bother me. Issue is timings vs. voltage, and the likelihood that I would have to overclock to reach the rated timings - if I'm going to have to OC, it seems like it would make more sense to go with the G.Skills anyway, given the 1.5V rating. However, I don't know a lot about RAM voltage and overclocking.
I'm doing a very similar build to yours. Having trouble deciding on the memory as well, so I'm anxiously waiting to hear some responses to this!
Yeah, I've been thinking about upping my price range for RAM, just for the peace of mind associated with getting a kit that's backed by some reviews.
I've been looking at this set for a few minutes: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600. Great reviews, great timings, and they seem to be reachable at stock, and in some cases, at lower voltage than stated. I believe this is the same kit: Corsair 6GB DDR3 1600MHz Desktop Memory. $61 cheaper at Fry's. Same timings, frequency, speed, and they look the same (but I can't tell for sure from the small picture). Thinking I might go ahead and up my budget $20 or so and pick up the set from Fry's.