Ok, I think I have a good start here. If you all could give it a once over and see what video card you'd recomend and what memory you'd recomend, then I think it'll be time to place an order.
I decided to go ahead and go with the PCI-E capable motherboard for the sole reason that it will be a bit more future proof. What I need is a video card (PCI-E) that is capable of being ran parallel in a pair, as the motherboard is setup where it can run two video cards in such a manner. This will require me spending more than I had originally budgeted, but that's generally how things go when I get interested in something as I have done in this instance. LEADTEK GF6600GT
1. Motherboard: ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe (socket 939)
2. AMD 64, 3500+
3. 160GB WD hard drive
4. 1GB Memory (please advise on type/brand)
5. Video Cards: possibly Leadtek GF6600GT TDH's (again, please advise)
6. 420w Thermal Take power supply
With the given components I can't imagine myself thinking that I need to get into overclocking the machine (especially coming from this 500mhz intel into the above setup). It should be quite the change from what I'm used to as it is. However if OC'ing becomes more necessary as things progress I can't foresee any big changes that I'd have to make to be able to OC the setup.
I'm looking at a few different cases still, mainly thermal take and lian li cases. I am purchasing extra fans for the motherboard, cpu, and video card, in addition to the ones in the cases that I'm looking at, so cooling shouldn't be a problem.
Anyhow, I definitely need some help in the video card and memory departments, so if you all don't mind giving input on those I'd appreciate it. Also if there is anything else that screams "disaster waiting to happen" please let me know.