Actually, motherboard costs are one of the big reasons I generally recommend Intel. Their lower-end processors are just cheaper & the i3 processors have basically equal or sometimes better performance than overclocked AMD Phenom IIs for gaming.
Let's see what we have here:
i3-2120 ($115). This is going to be as good as the Phenom II or better (the first if you were going to overclock the Phenom II to 4.0+ghz, the second if you were going to overclock lower or run stock)
Asus H61 mobo. ($50) Is cheap.
Basically the same RAM for $1 less ($43)
Bit Fenix Outlaw ($40) Decent budget case.
Antec PSU ($30) Yes, it'll run everything fine, and is an honest quality power supply. Ugly as sin, true. Don't look at it a lot.
1TB HDD ($78)
Then depending on how you much you want to stretch your budget you get a:Powercooler 7850 for a total of: $594 - $20 rebate.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=69558&vpn=AX7850%202GBD5%2D2DH&manufacture=PowerColor&promoid=1043Asus Radeon 7870 for a total of: $659 - $20 rebate.
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=69863&vpn=HD7870%2DDC2%2D2GD5&manufacture=ASUSMSI 660ti for a total of: $669.
(you can get the same from newegg for $8 more for the borderlands coupon mentioned below)Gigabyte 7950 for a total of: $719 - $20 rebate.
Normally I mix newegg & us.ncix.com orders, but ncix caught up in price in some components where they used to be behind. Nice. (They have free shipping on all orders above $50, btw).
P.S. I assumed the answer to PunkX's question above was: general gaming. If not, you would obviously want to spend much less on video card & change things around!
P.P.S. If everything worked out well at a local microcenter, you could change to an overclocked i5-3570k + z77 mobo + cpu cooler for about $125 more. But at your budget, that cuts too much into GPU to be worth it for gaming.Edited by MisterFred - 8/20/12 at 6:44am