I want to keep my budget to US $800 or less. I'm in Argentina and component choices are quite limited as well as being much more expensive than in the US. So, kindly suggesting that I buy component X instead of component Y would be like kindly suggesting that I buy a unicorn instead of a horse, wonderful if I could find it but extremely unlikely. Punitive import duties and currency controls make it prohibitive to buy component X on newegg and have it shipped here; I'm pretty much stuck with what you see below.
I plan to install linux (Mint or Ubuntu) and use it for typical things, nothing too intense. Not really a big gamer but maybe will try out some of the available linux games or, with luck, run an older Windows game like Diablo II or Alpha Centauri in Wine. Still it would be nice to have the capability to do some light gaming of the more modern stuff if I later want to install Windows in a dual boot or something.
Each of the following will include a 1TB hard drive, case, power supply, keyboard, mouse, and 2 x 2 GB DDR3 1333 RAM and will run a 23" LED monitor (DVI and D-sub inputs).
1) Intel: total cost as listed $784
Asus P8H61-M LX motherboard
integrated HD 2000 graphics for now and in a few months hopefully a friend/family member can bring me a good graphics card from newegg or such at a decent price
no plans to overclock as a 2500k with OC requires an extra $200 for the CPU/P67 combo
2) Phenom: total cost as listed $672 + video card
Phenom II 965 BE
Asus M5A78L LE motherboard
1 of the following video cards:
XFX Radeon HD 6450 1gb DDR3: $81
Zotac Geforce GT 520 1gb DDR3: $99
Asus Geforce GT 430 1 gb DDR3: $123
3) Buldozer: total cost as listed $702 + video card
Asus M5A78L-M LX motherboard
1 of the video cards listed above
4) Llano: total cost as listed $671
Asus F1A55-M LE
2 x 2 GB 1600 RAM instead of the 1333, to help the integrated graphics
I'm really leaning to the Intel i5 setup. I'm guessing the integrated graphics would be adequate for a while (if no one visits before, my brother will come in December and can bring me a good video card for a decent price). The lower power/heat of the Intel setup appeals to me and it feels like I would have more "headroom" if greater demands on the CPU come up in the future.