ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Purpose of this build is to achieve high end performance without top end prices. I did not skimp on the video card because the last time I did that when I built my last rig in 2007 I bought an 8800Gtx as opposed to the ultra at a 300$ difference and ended up being unhappy with the performance or my SLI cards. If the is a significant difference say going between the core i7 930 to a top end processor in the $900-$1000 range that justifies the price tag then by all means please let me know.
Thanks for the reply, I guess the title is a little misleading since the moniter and the case come out to $2300, so technically the actual tower is only 2k worth of stuff. I'm sure youll also agree with me that 2k for internal componants is not top end, as the price can certainly go higher. I might be considering 2 5970, so just that on the table is $1400. Thanks for the advice on ram and the other cases, much apreciated.
the budget you have is pretty good. buy an sli/crossfire X mobo and fit 2 gtx 580s in it. a single gtx 580 is 7-8% powerful than a ati hd 5970. for ram, i would suggest corsair vengance (4x4) 16gb kit. you'll get it within 170$. and for the processor, get a intel core i7 980 or 990x. the case is ok. the power supply, you would want to upgrade it to a 1200 W thermaltake.