At one point I was considering a 560 Ti or a 6950 to save some quick cash, but I was reading about the new 7000/600 GPU series coming out by ATI/nVidia and up'd to the 570 GTX to counter that for the moment. I've been out of the loop until just recently with computer components and was reading a lot about nVidia having much better driver support than ATI. I had thought that the 570 outperformed the 6970 anyway, but I could be wrong.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I stupidly didn't even see the issue with the optical drive...I just saw the word FREE and bit. Those promotions are amazing, I just have to wait and can't ante-up the cash right now. All of the parts I listed are available through Bestbuy, which both costs more on parts, but is also cheaper on various parts as well (I'm needing to finance through their 18 month no interest dealy).
On a second note, this website is amazing...quick, accurate, and reliable feedback. Very glad I joined. Thanks again!