I am going to built my new cpu this week and i am having hard time on deciding a processor . And i selected AMD A8-3870K , AMD phenom II x4-980 BE and Intel core I3 2nd generation.
I am not a great gamer ( just play GTA,NFS..,)
I usually work on sql server 2010(heavily) and visual studio 2008 with some office & pdf files opened.
24x7 playing music and browsing internet(min 20 tabs opened in chrome),watching HD videos..,
If you don't game much, then the Intel Core i3 is a good choice. Between the Phenom II and i3, I'm not sure which one is faster at sql server 2010. If you get Core i3, there are some boards out there like ASUS P8B WS or P8C WS that will allow you to use ECC with ONLY Core i3 or Xeon, not the i5 or i7. The Phenom II will have ECC support all over. This maybe important for your sql server activities.
On another note, the i3 only sips about half or less of the power of the Phenom II. The A8 somewhere in between.