Even at $50 cheaper, you're still going to have a hard time filling an i7 build with that budget. IF he has the drives, monitor, OS, and case, he MAY be able to.
$200+ for the CPU
$140+ for the motherboard
$85+ (This is the minimum) for the RAM (This is for 4GB DDR3 in a 2 x 2GB configuration)
$75+ (VERY GENEROUS ESTIMATE) for the PSU (expect to spend more)
$200+ for the GPU (Don't want a cheap, low-end GPU on an i7 build) (He could get away with a 4850, and that'd be roughly $100, and then he could add another and do a crossfire setup later)
$700 there. If he doesn't have the OS, that racks on roughly $100 more. ALWAYS RECYCLE WHAT YOU CAN!!! I'm using a P.O.S. eMachines case, so I could save money up for a nice BIG case. Turned out, that my case was more than adequate, and I saved up enough to build a new i5 computer. (Hopefully I can keep it. :P)
If you check these out : Intel's Core i5 Analyzed and Tested (150+ Benchmarks) - Page 6 | Maximum PC
You'll see that the i5-750, REALLY ISN'T BAD AT ALL!!! He can get a few more extra goodies in the bag if he went with the cheaper i5 setup. Which is what I recommend, or the 965 route, which he'll bareely notice the difference on.