I also need to find a good cheap custom PC builder. Are there any other places online as good as and as cheap as www.ibuypower.com? I live in california and they charge sales tax for any california orders, so I'd really prefer NOT to buy from them, nor any other place based out of CA. Are there any other alternatives? A nice PCI-E, SLI, AMD64 PC I liked from ibuypower came to about 2,700. Falcon wanted around 5,000!! and Alienware wanted around 4,000! for more or less the same system. I really don't want to build my own, I have enough hassles in my life, and don't need that since everytime I do it, it becomes a week long exercise in frusteration.
NCIX isn't a bad looking store. I used the tool to 'build' a system like the one I'm doing for myself and it came out almost as low a price as I'm expecting to pay. It meant making a couple of small changes, but it's not seriously different. It came out to $2462, where I figured I can get everything and build it for right around $2400, depending on prices at the moment of order and any specials at that time. The big differences are that the one I'm doing for myself includes a 19" monitor and theirs doesn't have any at that price and mine will have 3 x 200 gig drives as opposed to 2 x 250.
And that brings up something you won't hear unless you get into a conversation with a small system builder like me- with the current economies of scale, the huge online builders can put something out the door at what amount to the same prices that us small fish pay as wholesale. That's why most small builders only sell into vertical markets and include software and training services. We don't make coffee money on retail sales online or off. What the customer doesn't see and usually doesn't care about are the care small system builders put into building the system and getting it working right and any service after the sale. Nope, customers like TenaciousleyDead don't care about anything but price. Then they wonder WHY there aren't lots of small OEM shops around.
I second what another poster said above: how much are you willing to spend? Cheap to one person may be $300 and cheap to another may be $1500. Just depends on your computer knowledge. Here's a link to some customizable AMD based builds if you want to take a look: