You only need 8 GB of RAM, 16 is slight overkill. A total price would help to know how much we can upgrade, because I would get another video card and MoBo. The monitor I've found at a very good price right now is here. it appears to have decent reviews, the only bad reviews are people complaining they don't like the tilting because it doesn't go far enough or saying they video card doesn't have VGA, so it's a steal for the price.
Hmm, that would mostly require connection. You could just get 12 GB instead of 16. I would try to get an Ivy Bridge motherboard with z77 and an i5 3570 or 3570k. 3570k is if you want to OC, which really doesn't make a big difference and could impact your computer's safety.
I have the nine hundred right now, actually - But the old unit from 2009 without the upgraded USBs. It's not too loud, but it makes for a great refrigerator
From what I understand the i7 has HT - Though I don't think it adds anything for gaming. The difference between the two is fairly minimal right? In that case I would have to agree that the i5 would work fine and is cheaper. But if the HT would add something with the other programs I use, I don't know. Still, I like cheap. Cheap is good.
OHHHH Hyperthread. They actually both have that, what you are mostly paying for on the i7 is the 10 MB cache instead of 6. Unless you play games like Planetside 2 or minecraft, or use CPU heavy work apps, I think the i5 should be fine. In either case, the i5 is still fast, the i7 is just faster. Also, with the 7870 which I currently have I can max out all games including Metro 2033 and Battlefield 3, and can max out Skyrim with ENBseries.