Originally budgeted $700 for the box and $500 for a monitor. When the Asus PB278Q 27.0" came on sale for $400 I snapped it up and went from there. Really feel like I got some bargains and shelled out a bit more than anticipated on a) CPU b) GFX c) keyboard.
Hadn't put a PC together in about 5 years, everything seems exactly the same except numbers on components have either increased or decreased dramatically! So relieved that I got 0 dead pixels on the monitor and all other hardware seems to be working smoothly. Couldn't seem to boot a Win7 install from USB but Win8 install was smooth. It's taken a lot of customization to rid the OS of the stupid interface and get me back to something I recognize.
Still going through the rebates and such to get a real price on the whole thing.
Happy to answer questions etc in comments!