I had originally thought I was going to buy a prebuilt machine, but I decided to take a stab at building my own for the first time. I tried to do my best in researching parts before I bought anything, but please feel free to let me know if there is anything I can improve on in this build or for next time. All in all, it was a very fun and engaging learning experience, and I don't think I will ever buy a stock pc again (unless this one blows up, then I'll just go back to using a slide-rule).
The PC is primarily used for games and general work purposes. I didn't really have a budget, but I didn't want to spend an outrageous amount either, so I settled on an amount I thought was comfortable. I had considered building a unit that would be far more capable of handling iterative CAD work that I do for my job, but then I realized the last thing I want to do at home is work :P ....maybe next time. The prices I put in reflect the amount I paid.
CPU - Went with an i5 since it seemed to be plenty for games and I won't be doing anything that would need an i7.
CPU cooler - Didn't really need to go for this amount of cooling, but it seems to deliver good cooling and I'm happy with it.
Motherboard - Got this because it was on sale, from a reputable manufacturer, and I didn't really need too many features you see with more expensive boards.
RAM - Bought this originally without realizing it was at a higher speed (because I wanted yellow ram XD), but works fine for the price, I guess.
Storage - Bought a SSD for the OS and some programs mainly, and use the mechanical drive for storage of other crap (like pics of cute kittens T.T)
GPU - One place I probably could've put more money into (probably wouldn't have bought a 780, though); the 760 was plenty for what I wanted, in the end.
Case - Liked the look and provides capability of good airflow and cable management (neither of which I'm good at).
PSU - Corsair seems to make quality PSUs...I would definitely considering getting a modular unit next time, since I don't like dealing with the extra cables.
Optical Drive - Does what it's supposed to do...
OS - Still had a free copy I received from when I was back in school :3
Fans - Went overboard with these, probably should've cut back and put it somewhere else. I'm actually a "fan" (lol) of white noise, so the system being quiet wasn't really a requirement I had. This is how I have them set up: *2 front intake, 1 bottom intake, 2 side intakes, 1 back exhaust, 2 top exhausts (across CPU radiator) I don't think the side fans do anything but stir up air in every direction, which doesn't help the airflow, but I like the look of them in the case to cover the side holes, since the case doesn't have much illumination anyway. Still, I will probably find a better spot for the yellow ones...
Display - Had the two smaller ASUs monitors already, and bought the larger one for use as the primary monitor. Seems to work pretty well after adjusting the settings a little bit.
Let me know if you guys have any other questions, and thanks for looking!