RAM: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI rated for 1.5v
GPU: Palit NE5TX470F10DA GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card . Then two of these for sli. 470 sli will perform on par with or above the far more expensive 5870 CF so it really is amazing bang for buck.
Storage solution: OCZ vertex 2 60gb + samsung spinpoint f3 1tb + silverstone HDD boost. Let me briefly clarify: Vertex 2 is extremely fast and more than 60gb is insanely expensive. Spinpoints f3s are quiet, cool and reasonable fast. And HDD boost to merge speed and size into without expinsive adaptech raid controllers and other similarly products.
Case: fractal define r3 because it looks much much better IMO than the price range competition, it's very quiet with the dampening pads and performs better than the competition cases if the pads are replaced with fans.
Power supply: xfx 850w/750w for overclockers/non-overclockers. Good price, modular and very good performance. It also leaves room for upgrades.
DVD burner: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner
CPU cooler: Corsair h70. Space effiecient and very good performance.
Sound-card: auzentech X-raider(depending on your audio system of course but for this kind of build HD595 headphones or similar quality audio systems are reasonable and for that this card is great)
with newegg pricing ATM that comes to around 1950 without combos and discounts. That's for an allrounder very responsive(SSD) system with no space restrictions on the storage drives(HDD BOOST). It'll handles any games very well and and will probably do so for years to come(470 sli). It performs well in proffesional apps like photoshop(CUDA + i7 930). It looks great while still not drawing to much attention and taking to much space (define R3). It will render and compress very well(i7 930). For the enthousiasts who want to take their system the extra mile it has quite some overclocking potential(i7 930 + 470s). And for the hardcore gamers it will support 3d surround/3d vision/ 2d surround/ physX. The sound card also provides optimal sound for games, movies and music(auzentech x-raider). Also the sound card takes a load of the 930 making it a more effective CPU in games and other apps where sound is playing I presume.
This is what I posted on the 2000 dollar best config. Swap out the case if you want. Drop the h70 because it's overkill.
Then you could drop the HDD boost and go for a 120gb ssd.
yeah it's a norwegian case or something so hard to come by in america. It's very good though.
About the HDDs. First of all vertex 2 is the name of the SSD it doesn't mean there are 2 of them . And this is beneficial because. Regular hard drives like the 1tb are cheap and fairly slow. SSDs on the other hand especiallly the vertex 2 is insanely fast with a price to match. Thus it's better to have one small drive for all the stuff you use a lot so it goes fast and one large one for all the rest. Ohh and btw having 2 of these SSDs could give you a 15-20percent performance bump and double the space when they are configured in raid0.
The sound card I added isn't amazing but seeing you'll be using astro's it looks like a good match. (no offense astros are just a rip off unless you got it with the amp )