This is an old post, preserved for reference.
The products and services mentioned within are no longer available.
I get quite a lot of requests to build custom PC's, normally based on the best spec for a particular budget, or simply a requirement for a gaming PC or an office PC etc. I usually put together a parts list based on past experience of combinations of parts I know work well together, and manufacturers I trust. Recently I had a request where the spec and even the parts list were provided, so I was basically putting it together and testing it. This was quite interesting, as many of the parts were not ones I would normally have used. The main difference I noted was in the case, a Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus case, which is one of their higher end models. I normally stay away from cheap cases and go for manufacturers like Corsair and Fractal, where I know what I am getting, and I know I'll get an good end product.
SATA drive bays I reviewed previously).