For the graphics card, think GForce!!! Don't even consider the alternatives. Stay away from ATI like a plague. ATI Radeon is the Ebola virus of video cards! It costs a fortune and don't give you nearly the power you get with some Korean/Japanese no-name GF card! I got a Radeon DDR 64mb video in/out and an Abit GF2MX400 SDRAM 64mb video out only. The ATI should be faster, faster RAM and more then twice the price, but not the wildest dreams of the ATI CEO! Not by a long shot. The ABit card totally rox BTW. Oh, they are both on Asus mobos (A7A266 and A7V266) and the CPUs are close in speed (TBird1.4 & XP1700@1.47ghz.)
Now speakers, IMO, chuck em! Don't even bother if you own a quality sterio system. Goto Radio Shack and get the sterio earphone mini-plug to Sterio RCA adapter wire and plug your computer straight into your sterio! Most sterio system sound is unrivaled by any computer speakers remotely comparable in price to your sterio speakers. Back in 1992 I got for $130 I got two BIG techniques speakers hooked to a $200 receiver with $40 wiring (makes a surprizingly noticable differance) and am still using the same stuff. It sounds much better then any computer speakers and I got a sterio out of it too.
As for mobo, I been loyal to Asus, the boards are supposed to be rock solid, but the A7A266 I have seems to work more stable with DDR ram then SDRam (it takes both.) With DDR the board never crashed, with SDram it has, although rarely.
Pentium is a waste of money, AMD works for me. You can't really tell much a difference between an XP1700 and 1800, it is a lot of hype, get the most within budget, don't spend more, you are better off puting it to the RAM fund.
7200 RPM HDs are VERY important. Also, making sure each hard drive is seperate on it's own channel (only one hard drive per wire, even though you can put two slave & master.) This means if you got 3 or more HDs, buy an ATA100 or ATA133 PCI card for $50 or less, you will notice the difference moving files between the drives and using C: progs to open D: files.
I like HUGE cases, I have an Antec SX1240 and an InWin IW-Q500. The Antec is much better quality built, but harder to change drives (the removable cages are much harder to work with then traditional screws) less practical and twice the price of the InWin. The InWin is not really good quality, the power buttons stick on mine and another I have used, the mobo tray rattled until I stuck a flattened rubber band to fill a gap under it.
Gonna go with a water cooled case next I think, I have 17 fans (including Delta 8000RPM CPU fan) in my current unit (A7V266/XP1700) and it is too noisy. My machine has never crashed except when i fooled with things that made it crash (like running two incompatible ISAPI modules in IIS simultaneously.)