Case: Silverstone FTO2 ($240 Amazon) - thanks Forum recommendation due to stellar ventilation. Could have saved a little with Raven case but like the Fortress series.
Motherboard: Asus Maximus IV Z68 ($360 NewEgg) - overkill but not totally pinching pennies and like the flexibility for RAID, SLI, etc.
CPU: Intel 2600k ($315 Amazon)
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (Newegg $169 - $40 rebate - 15% off). Was planning on 16gb PC3 17000 kit from G.Skill but it is $370 and it seems the extra $240 isn't worth it.
PSU: Corsair AX850 ($190 Amazon). Overkill but allows for expansions detailed below.
SSD Raid 1 (boot drive): 2 x Vertex 3 120 gb ($520 Amazon). I can't afford to lose too much time if a boot drive goes down so chose Raid 1. A $260 insurance policy. Plan to run from onboard Intel controller.
HDD Raid 1 (data): 2 x 3tb Hitachi Deskstar ($350 Amazon). Plan to run from onboard Marvell controller.
Graphics: GTX 570 MSI Twin Frozer III Power Edition ($320 Amazon)
Burner: 1 x LG WH12LS30 ($95 Newegg) - Thanks Tom's recommendation.
UPS: Cyberpower 900W ($170 Amazon)
Notes: This is all backed-up to a large onsite Raid 5 NAS which is also backed up to an offsite Raid 5 NAS. I use Amazon since no shipping or tax in California but sometimes NewEgg is just too good.
Upgrade plans: When Adobe CS6.0 releases, plan to SLI with another GTX570 if they include SLI support as many expect. When data needs dictate, move to Raid 10 with 6 x 3tb on Raid controller card. The choice of 3tb Deskstar over 2tb Caviar blacks hopefully bought me another year before needing to do this.
Any input or "bottleneck" comments are greatly appreciated. Especially on "double" Raid 1 strategy.
WOW - thanks on this suggestion - these Corsair Force 3 are $179 after rebate and SSD are on special at another 15% off right now at Newegg. I hadn't even looked at them (since IBM was mentioned on forums) but was starting to lean away from Vertex 3 anyways due to reliability questions.
Betwween this and your earlier suggestion on the case, you've really toned things up.
I'm just surprised more people aren't using Raid 1 for boot drives. What good is protecting data on HDD raid if you can't boot up your computer?
While I know gigabyte has cheaper MB options, I'm going to stick with the Asus Maximus since I'm comfortable with their over-clocking interface and relatively new to that whole experience. Yes, too expensive but only Asus option since their P8Z68 is not up to what it should be (like the Gigabyte UD5 is, etc.).
Thanks again for SSD and case suggestions - I salute you.