To clarify, I am looking to build/buy a tower, or buy a laptop. The laptop is more of a future consideration, because I am by no means done with deployments. So if there is a realistic, quality option laptop wise, it might make more sense to purchase one better laptop instead of a desktop now and a laptop down the road. But that's a question I can't answer, so I come to those who know more than myself, and thank them for their time.
I have considered building it from scratch, but i would list my status in this regard as amateur, so there are hesitations regarding how quality of a job I could do against the price of a prebuilt/semi customizable option.
lets say the tower's total price range is in the 1500 category, i'm looking into pairing it with some kind of i7 (i have discovered there are many of these as well, and am not sure it's worth it over an i5), and lets ballpark the cost of the graphics card in the "up to 400ish" range.
Again, my thanks in advance