dogman, thanks for the help, but that build is a bit too expensive for me.
i should of further clarified that it's 750 before rebates. i'll fix that in my original post.
i think i'll also bump the price up to $850 due to the monitor. though the less i need to spend, the better.
Here is a compromise between my build and dogman's. Replace the cpu/motherboard combo from my build with these. You would leave out the gfx card for now. Later when you have the money you could buy a similar 5770 or something better.
I have a 5770 and it works great for the games I play. I can play portal @ 1920x1200 with everything maxed. Most of the games I play are older games: Company of Heroes, C&C 3, x3 Terran Conflict. The 5750 is very close the 5770, so it should handle portal easily.