I have diagnoses a fatal issue with my motherboard, and I am now looking to build a new rig from the ground up, considering that PC technology is advancing so fast and even my half a year old Q9550 is not at the top of the curve anymore. I am wondering what case is the best bang for your buck and will still be capable down the road when I can afford the i7 etc.
I will be buying the case first as it is one of the cheapest parts and then I will go from there as I continue to save money for more the expensive parts. Thanks for your help
Your CPU is fine. There is no point replacing it. I upgraded from a dual core to my i7. Get a new motherboard and be happy with the great CPU you already own. Upgrade in a year or two when the high end desktop variants(HEDT) of Sandy Bridge(SNB) come out.
As for the case, what size are you looking for? Mid tower, Full tower?
For mid tower, the Antec P183 is nice. For full Tower, the Cooler Master ATCS 840 is a wonderful case for a reasonable price.
My 2 GTX 260s fit in a mid tower just fine. There shouldn't be any problem with a smaller 9800GTX fitting in one.
The 800D is a nice case, but it's not the best for air cooling. If you are going to liquid cooler your components, I would recommend the 800D. For air cooling, check out the Cooler Master ATCS 840. It is a full tower with lots of room for expansion and great airflow.