My original intent for this build was gaming but I'm also looking to extend functionality (e.g. HTPC). Thanks to all for your comments!
1. Ruled out mobo with on-board GPU
2. Ruled in mobo with SATA6 and USB3.0
3. Ruled out mobo with Crossfire capability
Here are my questions:
1. Can I get better quality components for around the same cost?
2. If I wanted Crossfire, what AMD mobo should I consider?
3. What would be a comparable Intel build?
4. Though I think SSD is not cost-effectively mature, I put one in on the build. Should I save the money by eliminating SSD?
5. Any cost effective recommendations on HD monitors?
I agree with mosox, ditch the SSD, wait a year for the price to drop and capacity/speed to increase. I am running 2 HD5770 in crossfire, I got these before the 5850 was released. If I had it to do over again, would go with the 5850.
You are really looking at 25 second longer boot time, and a few seconds on loading screens in games. My mind wanders for longer than that.
I kept the SSD, sold the 5770 and I'm waiting for my Asus VH236H monitor ($158.02 - $20 MIR) and a Palit GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Sonic Platinum ($240 - $30 MIR) to arrive over the next couple of days. After reading through Tom's Hardware forums, I realize that there have been complaints about the Palit 460s ability to stay quiet and cool but I thought the deal was too good to pass up. Including a G15 keyboard and MX518 mouse, my running total on cost is about $1150. Assuming approval on all my MIR, my total build cost should be $1000.