So here's the updates.
I've been using amdoverdrive to increase the cpu performance. Getting about a 10-15% bump in cpu speed and the machine is stable all day long.
Bought another 8gb or g. skil ram (2x4gb) for a total of 14 gb and absolutely no problems whatsoever. voltage, latencies all matched the hp ram, so no problems there.
Totally happy with the sandisk extreme 480 gb ssd drive. Paid 310 for it. Free shipping, no tax. Runs smooth.
Bought the evga 680gtx sc card. Came in the mail today. 20 dollar rebate and borderlands 2 for free. Awesome. 499, free shipping, no tax prior to the rebate and game. (3 year manufacturers warranty on the card)
Folks have continually told me that they could have done much better had they built the machine from scratch. I agree, however if you fry the board, burn the chip up, or have a dimm of memory go bad, you could be in for a rough road ahead.
I am completely happy with the build. It is quiet, the graphics card is one of the best and reliable on the market, the ssd is super fast, plenty of solid performance ram on the cheap.
Oh and I'm really enjoying the xbox that I got as part of the package. I purchased one xbox controller for windows and to my suprise, the original controller that came with the xbox works with the pc as well. I can use both controllers for either the pc or the xbox
I'm gaming on my 60 inch flat panel panasonic tv and a benq 24 inch gaming monitor.
In closing, I'm happy to overclock the graphics card. I went with the signature series because the modules are hand-picked vs the stock evga 680 gtx. I will likely use msi afterburner and this is where the performance overclock is critical. The rest of the machine is super stable. I don't have to worry about bsod or bios troubles, or lost hours, days, and possibly weeks due to troubleshooting.
When windows 8 comes out, I'll be even happier.
I've got a ton of steam games on here.
In the future, I may take the ssd, and graphics card and make a separate gaming machine but right now I couldn't be happier.
If anyone has any other thoughts about how to make this better without doing a separate build, I'm happy to listen.