Working the last kinks out (CPU type)

So I've been battling back and forth with this for probably a good couple months if I really think about it. I'll see something that convinces me the 2600k is the way to go, and then someone will chime in that the 2500k is a fraction slower, and more bang for the buck. Whether I've been reading a thread or scoping out a new article, I think I may have finally come to a conclusion as to what I'll need. I just need some good debating from either side (if possible) as to why I would, or would not go with a certain processor. From what I can tell, real world use shows the 2500k and 2600k neck and neck for most of what I'd like to accomplish.

All things equal, the main use of the CPU will be Adobe, light programming, and some good gaming. Monitor is 24" 1920x1200. Assume the graphics card will be at least a 6850/560. MB, RAM, etc.. will all be mid range (z68 with the usual goodies, ~1600+ ~CL8 for RAM). I don't want to get into too many tiny details of the build since I want the focus to be on benefits I'll see using one over the other, and vice versa. When in doubt, just imagine your own mid-high range build (hence the all things equal).

If there happens to be an outside influence that would affect a CPU's performance, (i.e. RAM variables, MB BIOS, GPU performance) buy all means, eat your heart out!

Thanks in advance. I've learned a lot so far from the community.
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  1. Hmm.. this must be a record for me for longest time with *crickets... crickets*. I'm sure this is a question repeated over and over again. I'm just trying to shed some light on it so it makes sense to me, and that's where I think the community can really help out.
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