APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon - Within a week or two
BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800): $1500 after rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Exclusively gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS): Keyboard / mouse, monitor, speakers are not required. I have a spare EA650 Antec PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) but am willing to kick it to the curb it if it can't be worked into an optimal build.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, and I live near to a MicroCenter if there's a good deal to be found there.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: No particular brand or type preferences
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Fully open to it but have no specific plans)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (Likewise to overclocking)
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently operating with a 1680x1050 display, but plan to upgrade to 1920x1080 a little later, separate from this build budget.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically I'm completely comfortable with the physical construction of my PC, but rather overwhelmed doing research on how I'll get the best bang for my buck. This machine is meant exclusively for gaming, along the lines of Starcraft II, DoW2, online FPS gaming, and MMOs like Warhammer Online, FFXIV, and eventually Guild Wars 2. $1500 is my maximum budget, but I'm not at all opposed to going under budget if I'd otherwise be spending money for the sake of it, nor am I opposed to spending a *little* over if it's worthwhile!
I should also add that I'd be happy to add an SSD if it fits naturally into my budget (I expect it doesn't), but I'd rather maximize the potential:money ratio otherwise and think about an SSD down the line.
Anyway, I hate throwing myself out here asking other people to come up with my parts list, but I figure getting specific advice for my purposes from knowledgable folks is the optimal place to start. Thanks!
More about :gaming 1500 moderately clueless builder
i7, GTX 470 Build: I think this is a good match for your budget. The mid range i7-950 just dropped in price significantly, and you can get an excellent deal on it at Microcenter. LGA1366 doesn't have the same PCI-E problems as LGA 1156; Crossfire and SLI aren't crippled by half speed PCI-E slots. The GTX 470 is very capable and doesn't have the same noise, heat, and value issues as the GTX 480.
Intel i7-950 (Slightly better for overclocking than an i7-930, only $20 more now) $250 from Microcenter
XFX 850W Powersupply (Very high quality, 80 plus silver certified, modular) This is a great deal, and would provide plenty of headroom for you to add a second GTX 470 later in SLI. $107 with promo code XFXPOWER after $20 rebate