The Power Supply and Motherboard are completely unknown to me at this time, and that is where I would value the most input. I have read about issues with the 7870 and some configurations, but I am unfamiliar with the specifics. Obviously if I go with the 7870, I want to avoid this.
For RAM I tend to stick with Gskill but am open to suggestions from others, or specific gskill models.
I am considering using an SSD for boot and basic files and a 1TB HDD to store media and games. In HDDs I am a bit partial to Western Digital as I have has a few friends who have had very bad luck with Seagate, but again, I'll consider anything.
I am also considering doing a small bit of overclocking if I go with the i5. So if I go with the i5, I wouldn't mind getting an aftermarket CPU cooler. However, I don't want to mess with liquid cooling. Any recommendations there would be appreciated.
The budget is very loose. Ideally, I want to get the best possible gaming system for as close to $1,000 as possible, or under. Overages are okay if the benefits are worthwhile.
This is in the US and would be for 1920x1080 HD gaming. I think that covers all the bases. I greatly appreciate any input!