I like sandy bridge and the pentiums done on that architecture do have alot of value.
However to match the A8-3850 you are into mid-range of the second gen core-i5 and lower end i7. On a budget of $500 or less I'm going to push amd since we don't know if what they are going to be doing is graphics intensive or processor intensive and dollar for dollar amd can match processor power will providing slightly better graphics. From $400 to around $700 will likely have both AMD and Intel options and will vary based on sales that day and rebates. Over $700 where you are going to be buying both a high end graphics card and alot of processor AMD probably won't be making a cpu sale but there is a pretty decent chance that they are going to be selling a $175 or more graphics card.
The I5 2500K and the I5 2550K are great processors, and pretty good values. With those over clocked and a number of I7's amd doesn't really have a chip to match up. Everywhere else they do and in some cases the AMD is a better value for your money. This is especially true when you look at the price premium on mother boards.
$39.99 for the cheapest AM3 motherboard on newegg free shipping.
$49.99 for the least expensive socket 1155.
The worst part about all of this is I'm not even an AMD fanboy, I have family members that work for Intel and them doing well directly benefits me. I also see bulldozer as a bad generation of chip for AMD which hurts their rep quite a bit. I'm also just honest enough to realize that not everything intel does is awesome and better compared to the competition.