Budget of $1800, including monitor? Abit IS7 and a P4 2.6C would be a good place to start.
<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
Actually he asked what the best mobo/cpu combo for gaming was. He then stated that a friend had recommended the barton. He didn't directly come out and state that he wanted an AMD setup or Intel setup...
<font color=blue> Ok, so you have to put your "2 cents" in, but its value is only "A penny's worth". Who gets that extra penny? </font color=blue>
I'd like to second jmecor with the asus p4p800 865pE & p4 2.6c ghz altough if you're spending 1800 you could easily get the 2.8 or higher, especialy if you wait a little while when intel drops prices, if you don't like that I'd say go with the abit, but for that kind of $ intel will get you better preformance