Parts Preferences: by brand or type : Dad wants intel
SLI or Crossfire:no
Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024 MAX
Additional Comments: Needs a reliable, PC for home
Parts I really want / dad wants
i3-2100 ( rm 353 )
500 GB WD HARD DRIVE ( rm 250 )
dvd writer ( rm 60 )
That leaves me rm 837 to purchase a decent motherboard that supports the core, and a decent graphic card and power supply ! ( I donot require a dedicated sound card )
The i3-2120 is a fantastic processor for gaming, but you'd need to pair it with a high end video card to see much benefit. At the resolution you'll be using, most current gaming cards as well as the i3 would be overkill.
Unless your dad is dead set on intel, I would suggest one of AMD's APUs based on your needs for a family machine with light gaming. This would allow you money in the budget for an ssd, which would vastly improve day-to-day use (as well as load times in games!). In non-gaming, the llano's four cores will make up for the difference in per-core execution speed between itself and the i3. The chip also does well in games @ 1280x1024.
Here's a quick build you can use as a starting point.