OK, so I've gone through an absolute tonne of research on my case, a lot of it on this forum, thanks a lot for all of your help.
In the end I've realized that I'm going to have to make a compromise, not just with my case, but with the whole upgrade path that i'm going to follow.
I've drafted 2 builds, one which is based around looks, and one which is purely about performence.
Case - Unknown (Was going to be the Corsair 650d but it is too deep to sit on my desk which is 40 cm deep, so I'll probably be looking at a m-atx case, talk about the case later)
Cooler - Cosair H100
The rest will stay the same.
Case - Unknown (Any size, good cooling, cheaper)
Cooler - Noctua NH-D14
Which build will be better?
Which case should I get for each build? (Looks case must have a window)
I'm prepared to spend about £150 on the case... but less if its just going to sit under my desk (the performance case)
overclocking doesn't do much at all for performance per $ spent, unless you've already got over $1k in your graphics.
I would not say overclocking does not do much, it helps bring out the max potential for a CPU without spending a penny (except for a cooler). In CPU demanding games overclocking can make the difference between playable FPS and lag. You could however aruge tiny overclocks like 100mhz won't do much of a difference but with these new CPUs overclocking does do a great difference like the AMD Black edition CPUs or the Intel K series which can overclock a great percentage of their normal stock clocks. It can also help bottlenecking with video cards caused by a weaker CPU if its a small gap.
Overclocking in general is not necessary, however, it does not mean that you should not overclock. SocialFox has stated most of what I wanted to say, however, there are many different purposes for overclocking as well.
I, for one, overclock to get more performance out of my chip to save time while rendering videos. Time saved = more productivity = happy me
The Corsair 500R is an excellent case (9.25 rating at benchmarkreviews.com) and is selling at ridiculously low prices at least here on this side of the pond. Most desks run about the same size as yours.....typically my cases will hang over the desk edge about 2" front and back.
Other sites have the Noc and Phanteks swapping wins by a small margin but I have to give a solid edge to the Phanteks because.....
1. Phanteks has 5 year warranty to the Noc's 1 year
2. The Phanteks of late has been cheaper
3. The Noc's color scheme us downright fugly whereas the Phanteks has numerous color schemes
I overclock the bejeezes outta everything. Enjoy the challenge of finding the maximum overclock and will use it on occasion but generally back off a step for 24/7/365 usage. With Sandy bridge and nVidia 5xx series, generally aimed for 40% on CPU's and 30% on GPU's .... Ivy Bridge and Kepler have proved more challenging.