A friend of mine is interested in doing his first build and I'm trying to put together some parameters for him to work with.
His needs are generalized home use (internet, office programs), very light gaming (the game he primarily plays would run on the laptop I had in 2004), and, the biggest need for horsepower, he needs to run SAS, matlab, and similar types of tools that go into modeling. From what he describes from his datasets, he doesn't need a professional-level workstation, but simply a home PC that can handle these tools very well, so I'm like 99.9% certain that he doesn't need to be in the market for a GPGPU.
I gave him lots of RAM and bumped him up to the 3770k - he's using the type of tools that would benefit from these. He also is interested in having a lot of storage space. I did not give him a discrete GPU because he's given me no reason to believe he plays or intends to play anything that integrated graphics can't handle. I've left him enough power to add a GPU later, but I expect if he does, it will be a low-midlevel card, not SLIed 680s or anything like that. I think he'll be fine with the stock cooler as he's probably not overclocking (but the cpu leaves the option to do so later and if he's comfortable putting together the PC, changing cooling solutions shouldn't be an issue).
I probably could have given him a smaller form case, but I remember my first build, I was happy to have the extra room.
Below is what I've put together for him, but it's always get to additional opinions on things. Plus, there's always the chance I overlooked a mistake.