I just graduated from college and got my first full time job, so this desktop will be replacing a 4-year-old MacBook Pro that I used during college. Primary uses will be everyday computing, some gaming, and hobby-level CAD work.
I wanted to futureproof as much as I could without going over my budget of $2000, so I tried to get some good core parts, while giving myself the ability to easily upgrade others later. I did a few months of research and then ordered parts over the course of a few weeks, taking advantage of some sales.
Overall the build went pretty smoothly - all of my parts came in fairly quickly except for my processor, which took about 2 weeks to get here (thanks, Best Buy). I started after work on Friday and was able to install my OS at about 3AM, then went to sleep while it was applying updates. Cable management I finished the next morning.
Overall I'm pretty happy with it, I had a spare 250GB SSD that's holding my OS and Apps so that the 1TB can be used for storage. It was my first time navigating a bios, so I'm still learning how to tweak settings. I installed the OS from a bootdisk on a USB, which was a bit confusing but I got it to work. Driver installs went well.
Eventually I want to make these improvements:
• 3 more 1Tb HDD's, so that they can be paired off in Raid 1 Configuration
• Better graphics card, possibly SLI
• Second monitor
• LED PWM fans with fan controller
• Mechanical keyboard