+ Total (United States):
Too many gaming builds skimp on the GPU so they can afford to liquid cool an i7 or buy a $200 armored motherboard.
I spent my money on the graphics card and the power supply and made sure I wouldn't have any bottlenecks elsewhere for a graphics card upgrade or two.
The case is old so I couldn't tuck the cables behind the motherboard. But twisties have helped with cable management.
Graphics card: The r9 290x cost $500 before taxes when I bought it, much cheaper than the 780 Ti. I've noticed glitchy graphics even in AMD optimized games that I didn't notice when I had an NVidia GTX 460 but I haven't done any formal testing yet. I'll probably play games at the same settings on my old NVidia and my new 290x at some point.
Power supply: Based on the Wattage reported by my Kill-A-Watt, I'll be able to dual CrossFire if I ever need to. Otherwise, a 550W Gold would have been better. All PSU-GPU cables have both 6-pin and 8-pin connectors at the GPU end so I had tie the unneeded connectors down.
SSD: Reliable, enough storage for all the games I play at any given time. I have an HDD and another SSD in the case that I recycled from other computers but I haven't had to plug them in yet.
Motherboard: All solid capacitors and name brand. Has most if not all of the quality components from this article.
CPU: It will last a couple* 2.5 year graphics card upgrades before it starts bottlenecking new graphics cards.
RAM: I bought the RAM in January to upgrade a different build that I was going to use as a programming workstation until I got a Macbook Pro from work. Otherwise I would have gotten cheaper, 1600 MHz RAM.
Recycled primary components
Monitor: 60 Hz IPS. I've used a 120 Hz TN and a 60 Hz IPS and I like the IPS more but I guess it's personal preference.
Recycled secondary components
Case: Some old Antec from around 2005. It doesn't let me tuck the cables behind the motherboard but I did the best I could with twisties and cable management.
Fans: One intake, one exhaust. CPU temp hasn't passed the low 60's.
* Probably 2 upgrades, not 3, but an overclocked i7 wouldn't get me 3 either. Though the r9 290x should last a lot longer than two and a half years. :)