my primary use will be very large excel spreadsheets (with 4 30" monitors) fastest recalc possible as they are well over 200 mb each and i have more than one open at a time. or any other option. trying to keep the entire system under 1000. no monitors, small hard drive, at least 8 gb of memory
To answer about the Q9650 vs i7-950... the Q9650 is an old CPU on an old chipset/socket. The i7s are much faster, come with hyper threading, turbo, and overclock a little better. The new chipsets for the i7-9xx series are also superior with triple channel memory and the faster QPI to replace FSB.
I will note, the i7-930 is a better buy with a superior stepping and much cheaper price.
Not much experience with excel... but if you are reading/writing large files a SSD drive may be helpful.
Go post in the System>New Build section and you'll have better luck with your system build.
More than good clock speeds, you need faster hard drives and good RAM count.. Your 8GB RAM selection sounds good.. Now just try to squeeze in a fast SSD or a couple of mainstream hard drives is RAID 0.. I would recommend an AMD rig comprising of a Phenom II X6 1055T, a compatible motherboard, two radeon HD 5550's, one Crucial Real SSD 256GB (for apps and OS) + one Seagate Baracuda 7200.12 500GB (for backup and storage), one dvd writer drive, Antec 300 case and Corsair VX 550W PSU..