My only other consideration is a GPU that would allow me to run a multiple monitor setup (eyefinity?) Just for productivity purposes such as excel in one and firefox on another... do I need another GPU or can the i3 pull it off alone?
$581.93 a pop doesn't seem too bad to me..? Please let me know what you would do different while keeping the price similar... say $600.00 w/o a gpu.
Why the expensive motherboard? I'm sure an office PC can get by on a $70 H61 motherboard. And yes, there are H61 boards that can run dual monitors. If you want to go for 3, consider buying a cheap card such as a HD5450 for around $30.
Don't need 1600MHz RAM and z68 mobo (H61 should be ok). Also, what you need is not eyefinity, it is just multi screen support and Intel IGP can do that (up to 2).
I was actually planning on splitting the ram up between the 2 computers giving them each 4gb for a mere $25 per... seems kinda petty to downgrade there for a 2$ savings or whateva.. but I get your point.