I am looking into finally upgrading my 5 year old Dell Dimension 8400 with a gaming rig to get me through, SC2, Diablo 3, and WoW (for now). I do want to future-proof the machine for at least 2-3 years before needing an upgrade.
My budget is around the $1500 range, plus or minus $200 depending on what the stretch is for.
I am in no immediate rush, so waiting a month or two here or there is fine.
I plan on getting a new monitor, but I do have a 20in Dell LCD which I can work with for some time. With a new monitor, I would be expecting to push the resolution to the 1920x1200 range,
I am not opposed to getting a system from iBuyPower or CyberPower, though I would also be willing to try building my own system (using parts from newegg or otherwise).
I do not plan to overclock though SLI or crossfire in the future would be cool.
Here is a base build that I used CyberPower to put together, though I would be willing to mix/match based on input from experts:
1) I would like to get an i7 just because they are mid to high tier and what I would see as a good option for some future-proofing (I'm no expert). I also would like to have a quad core processor. The idea of using the i7 975 extreme just came up because there was a special upgrade to it for no extra cost just for today as opposed to using the i7 960. I would not want to pay the normal price for an i7 EE (I've seen prices near $1000). The normal costs of i7 processors are not an issue for me.
2) I would be fine not getting an SSD boot drive at all, or moving up to a 64GB drive with a 1TB data drive. A friend suggested getting 2 1TB data drives in a RAID 0, which I would be fine with assuming it can get the job done. I've survived on a 160GB hard drive for 5 years, so the space increase will be more than I will know what to do with initially.
3) I have access to Windows 7 64bit as an OS to be used.
4) I am planning the monitor as a separate purchase, so that would not be part of the $1500 - $2000 cost.