I would like to build a gaming PC for as cheap as possible, while being able to play some modern DX10 games like Crysis and Stalker. How much will this cost? Where are some good sites to reference what I should get for components? Which version of Vista do I want for gaming? Where should I buy my components?
There's no such thing as building any PC on the cheap. You need the best of everything AND they have to compatible with the other parts. Unless cheap for you is $1000 - $2000, then do what you will. Have fun! :DD
As far as getting the know-how to put it all together, I'd recommend taking a class at your local Community College on PC Config & Repair. There you will get hands-on experience putting together a box from parts, install Windows, and learn how to troubleshoot any problems that may arise. And if your teacher is cool, they might help out before or after class to help you put things together.
you need a processor so get a intel duel core at least 2.2GHZ. don't get AMD they are not as powerful as intel
a motherboard with a PCI slot the employees at your computer can help
2 gigs of ram at least, 3 is good 4 is up there but most computer won't take that 4th one so you would waste money.
video card. you want games at least AT LEAST geforce 8600GT 512MB. you can check with other people to see what would best fit you.
get a nice case, a power supply monitor keyboard mouse and you're set. don't bother with vista unless you really really want to play some "vista only games". stay with XP, works with a lot more games and a lot less of a headache.