Antec Sonata III 500 FRONT MOUNTED USB ESATA 500W 9 DRIVE BAYS STANDARD ATX $115.00
Antec TruePower New -750 Blue - Power supply ( internal ) - ATX12V 2.3/ EPS12V 2.91 - AC 115/230 V - 750 Watt - active PFC - United States $138.00
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus High Performance 4 Heatpipes Cooler - Socket LGA1366 / 1156 / 775 - Socket AM3 / AM2 / AM2+ $32.99
Logitech Cordless Desktop EX100 Keyboard and Mouse $33.99
LG GH22NS50 SATA 22X/22XDVD-RW DRIVE, BLACK, INTERNAL, $23.50
ViewSonic VX1932wm-LED - LCD display - TFT - LED Backlight technology - 19" - widescreen - 1440 x 900 - 250 cd/m2 - 1000:1 - 10000000:1 (dynamic) - 5 ms DVI-D, VGA - speakers - black $149.00
i feel i should preface this by saying i am an entry level programmer so i know a little bit of what you might want but not completely. with that said, i would imagine you will want a more CPU centered rig. (over GPU)
Intel core I5 750 - $200
GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P -$190 this board has USB 3 and SATA 6G which helps future proof the rig
Corsair (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz - $110
Corisar 750Watt HX PSU - $150
XFX ATI Radeon HD 5750 - $140
2X Western Digital (or samsung) 500GB - $70 x2= $140
CASE - $90 (i will let you pick as you will know her tastes better than i would)
Linux OS -$0
Total: ~ $1020
let me explain a bit of this. 4 GB of ram should be enough unless you plan to do lots of virtualized machines at once otherwise you will probably want to invest another $110 for 8GB. Next the I5 750 should provide you with enough processing power to handle most things relatively quickly. The GPU is the Trick. if you feel you dont need much of a GPU then i would step down to a ATI Radeon 4850 and buump the CPU to an I5 860.
i doubt this rig is perfect, but i believe it is a good start.
HD - Stick w/ 500 GB per platter drives. This knocks out all WD's except for the 2TB model. Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but again at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):
Case / PSU - Turn off the LED's and ya have a well cooled, sleek case w/ an excellent PSU $70 cheaper than other alternatives. 650 watts is way more than enough for a single GFX card....you could probably get away w/ a 450 watter but this allows for future add ons. ($179) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...