I am hoping to buy the parts this weekend with the memorial day sales at www.newegg.com. Here is a build I have put together, and I was hoping to run a few more eyes over it to be sure i'm not messing up anything (don't have money to waste). Also if you know of a cheaper route on any parts without significant loss in quality/performance I would love suggestions. I want this to be a personal computer that can play the latest games (and for the next few years) and run software like photoshop cs5 well.
Swapping the i7 860 for an i5 750 should keep most of the performance, but you'll save a bit.
I personally don't recommend going up to the 5870 right now. I think you'd be better off getting the 5850 now and crossfiring later (mb a year or so?)
You might want to swap to a different hd. The SATA 3 doesn't change speed (unless wd changes something else as well, pls correct me if I'm wrong on this) The Samsung F3 drives are supposed to be good, performing about the same as the black wd drives, but they're a bit cheaper
You shouldn't need the thermal compound, since the cpu should come with some (unless you're using it for something else of course)