True, the i7 2600 would be a good pick, and the whole build would hit well below the 3k$ mark.
I have some doubts over the performance however, mostly because of the low core count compared to the alternatives. Would the higher frequency overshadow this?
Well it has 4 cores and 8 threads, since you are running around 10 vmwares, another option would be the i7-3770k or 3960x which have 6 cores and 12 threads and are the most recent cpu's from intel! They are also unlocked and can be overclocked a ton!
I've already had bad experiences with 'enthusiast' motherboards trying to get a stable IOMMU, and the server-grade i7 motherboards are much less featureful than the 2P ones (which look a lot like the 'enthusiast' motherboards)
I guess I'll save up some more money and wait for Xeons E5, goin the overkill solution.
Thanks for your insight. By the way, any thoughts on AMD's offerings for this particular use case?