I'm a 2d/3d artist also do video compositing/editing. I use 3ds Max, Adobe suite, Zbrush/Mudbox. I play (SC2 / FPS).
The idea i had about the budget is around 1400$cnd this can be worked on but it is my base idea.
I mainly shop at NCIX.com and newegg.ca.
There is no hurry to build i can wait until February to build. I read something new was about to come out.
Base idea I have is.
CPU : i7 950
Cooler : Noctua NH-U12P 120mm
Mobo : Gigabyte X58A-UD3R
Ram : 2x Patriot Viper II Sector 7 6GB 3X2GB DDR3 1600MHZ 9-9-9-24 1.65V
SSD : OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Sandforce 120GB
HD : Western Digital WD20EARS Caviar Green 2TB
Video Card : GeForce GTX 570
PSU : Antec Truepower New 750W Modular Power Supply ATX12V V2.3 Active PFC 80 Plus SLI Ready 120MM (Already have that from an other build)
DVD : Some cheap one only use it to install windows
Case : Still looking i like silent non flashy case.
Last build How much is this worth to sell cheap to my lil brother?
Replace the 9600gt for an ati 4890 it also have the psu that have been suggested :