Budget build with upgrade potential

My son's HP finally crapped out and I need to get a replacement relatively fast.

I will have about $500 (USD) by the end of next month.

While I could probably salvage something from the HP, I figured that it would be better just to start from scratch. I was looking at the $400 December build, but what I want is to be able to upgrade the components later on. Will the $400 build allow me to do that?

What other options would I have. My son is 17 and uses his computer for online course instruction, WoW and the usual teenager twitter, face-book et cet. I have a Radeon 5670 card available, which should be fine for a starter, which will reduce the cost somewhat. A wash, since I will probably have to purchase an op system as the HP was given to me by a friend.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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More about budget build upgrade potential
  1. this sort of budget is ideally suited for some sort of X2/X3 Athlon build; socket AM3 chipset MBs are also relatively inexpensive as well...; 4 GB of DDR3/1600 (2 ea., 2GB sticks), even a pair of 1 GB sticks will 'work'...

    Unfortunately, Windows is not cheap retail, but, OEM Win7/64 bit (for builders) versions are available for about $110....
  2. You can reuse the DVD writer and the HDD?
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