In other words, it looked like this:
After months and months of researching computer hardware components (i.e. going to NewEgg and compulsively adding things to wishlists and looking at prices and checking benchmarks for different processors and video cards) the price/performance is finally right for me and I placed an order yesterday. :) I should get the stuff on Monday or Tuesday and in the meantime, I'll go buy a case. All in all, I paid $650 (after rebates), not including the case. I'll probably shell out for that--I could go as low as $40 but I'll get a $100 case because the case is something I can use for years and years. So about $750 for a really cool system that will be much faster than the one I have right now.
I'm ridiculously excited because Heroes 5 will no longer be sluggish, I'll be able to play Quake 4, Half-Life 2, etc at good image quality and high frame rate, and I'll be able to replace my TiVo with my old computer meaning I won't need to shell out $13/mth anymore or have to wait 2 hours for a 4.5 gig hockey game to transfer so I can make video clips to upload because my TiVo has an USB input instead of an ethernet jack so the transfer is slooooooooow.
The gory details of my machine parts:
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz
Motherboard Biostar TForce 550 (nForce 550 chipset)
RAM 2 GB Corsair DDR2 667 RAM
Video card BFG Tech GeForce 7950GT 256MB
and an LG 18X DVD±R burner and Win XP Home SP2
Decided not to go with Windows Vista as the reaction to it has been fairly negative so far, driver support isn't quite there yet, and I don't need DirectX 10 support as my video card doesn't support it anyway. I could have shelled out another $50 or so to get a DirectX 10 video card that would be faster than the one I got, but it's a big fat card that consumes tons of power thus generating tons of heat and requiring a noisy fan and... I don't need something that fast anyway.
This is the longest I've ever gone without upgrading my computer, and I think the first time since 1996 (when I built my first machine) that I'm going to build a complete system. I'm going to geek out majorly. :P