thanks for the fast response and the advice on the psu. i will definitely look into a sandy bridge as well as the other parts you suggested!
I'm not going to Zambezi was a complete fail - it's a work in progress. If AMD had paired Zambezi with a new motherboard architecture and socket - which it's doing with Piledriver - it would have been a winner. Instead it's based on the aging AM3+ design and even the newest motherboards have troub;e recognizing the new CPUs. Go with Intel - you won't be disappointed.