I'm going to look into building my PC. What parts/specs would you recommend to make up an excellent gaming desktop?
footnote: graphics are nice. i recommend a good graphics card, so the flesh stays warm.
You don't have to spend a lot of money buying a very high end processor. My suggestion would be to go with AMD X2 (dual core) processor which would cost you around 80 dollars. Go with ASUS compatible motherboard that has SLi ready PCI-express slots (in which your graphic card(s) fit if you choose to use two of them for better performance).
Get 4GB of RAM. A hefty graphic card like GeForce 9xxx or 8xxx series (budget is yours). XFX is the company you want to stick to, or BFG (these are brands, the chipset is GeForce).
Get a precision mouse and good keyboard. Buy a 7200 RPM speed SATAII hard disk drive (western digital)
Very important - go with ANTEC 400W or 500W true power SMPS (power supply). Very important component. Stick to ANTEC.
Get a nice 5.1 creative sound blaster and surround sound speaker system and buy a game named F.E.A.R. and let it scare the hell out of you :D