true true about the boards...but the problem is the "good" board naturally have SLI. The non SLI boards aren't too great. The good ones are jsut as expensive. Nitestick is right too, ASUS really dropped the ball this time around. ASUS used to be a better board. Now its all about DFI. I'm going for a sweet Biostar myself....Seems to be a gem.
SLI isn't a waste if you want HIGH HIGH HIGH quality gaming (1600x1200 AA AF) its the only way to get playable fps in fear maxed as so. Or the DC patch that seems to be rather sucessful
AM2 was a huge flop. Haven't you seen the post on AM2 Preview? It scored LESS than the corrisponding cpus on every benchmark. Don't bother with it yet. not touch that crap
I'd say wait for the G71 or G80s to come out if your pouring money into a new system. Even if you don't want a newer series gpu, the price of a7800GT or 7800GTX will drop a LOT when they come out.
And for XP...don't ever buy software! Just download it!