I got really fed up with a low profile DELL 980 that has been getting me by for several years now. Believe it or not, I actually tried to swap out some of its components and upgrade some parts (futile effort). Pretty sure that the thing got overwhelmed by the all new hardware (e.g., GPU) that I tried shoving into it.
In any case, ordered most of the stuff through Amazon Prime, some through Newegg, and got the CPU from a nearby Micro Center (almost $100 off retail price!!). Everything came in with a week and was built in a day (it's been a while and I'm rusty at this stuff).
Will be using this machine for photo and video editing, gaming, music listening (I'm an audiophile), and watching HD movies. Thank you to Djangosp2 and Dividor for your feedback and thank you to this site for existing and making this so much easier and fun!
**P.S. I already had the monitor and the peripherals from my old machine, so my budget was around $1500.