I've always wanted to put together an awesome gaming rig and finally had the means to do so this spring. I spent the last 6 weeks ordering parts and impatiently waiting for it all to arrive. I'll be using this primarily for gaming, but I'm a graphic designer and spend a lot of time doing freelance work so I'll be using that full 16gigs of ram.
I want to say that this site has been a huge help in answering questions and giving great feedback; without you guys I wouldn't have had nearly as easy a time getting this thing built!
CPU: I had to go with the i5; no real need for me to upgrade to the i7. I have OC'd the CPU to 4.2 and it seems to be running pretty stable. There's a CPU-Z photo attached to see the #'s. I ran i through LinX 10 times and IBT 25 times at max settings and never ran in to issues. IBT temps maxed out around 70-75.
Cooler: I'd read great things about the Phanteks coolers and was able to get this one at a pretty good price. I've got to say that I'm pretty impressed so far.
Motherboard: The Bios is amazing and made OC'ing the CPU a breeze!
Memory: I know that I didn't need a full 16GB for "just" a gaming rig but, as I mentioned above, this will be a work station for me when I'm doing my design work as well.
SSD: I was planning to get a Samsung Evo but Newegg had a sale on this Toshiba drive and I couldn't pass up the price point. Shipping was included!
HDD: Nothing fancy, just needed some space.
Video Cards: After doing some research I decided on the MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti. I figured if I was going to spend some money I might as well go all in and get 2! These cards have been a dream so far... absolutely love the decision to go SLI. ***EDIT: The SLI Bridge is on (photos were taken during construction)
Case: I have found the case to be surprisingly well built for the money. Loads of places to mount fans (which I took advantage of) and everything fit without needing to be squeezed in.
PSU: I should have about 80-100W of headroom with everything running under load. Went for the fully modular version as well to help with cable management.
Fans: I mounted 3 140mm fans for the exhaust at the back and up top. I have the stock front fans and additional 120mm fans mounted on the bottom and right beside the video cards. There's a tonne of air flow going through the case!
3DMark Score: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/1844414