Buying a new PC (or upgrading your current machine) isn't merely a question of what to buy, but also when to buy. With cheaper, faster, better, technology always around the corner, you can't completely avoid the feeling of buyer's remorse in the weeks or months following your purchase, no matter how carefully you map it.
Now is a particularly difficult time for desktop buyers and upgraders as both AMD and Intel have major CPU introductions planned for the end of the year. Intel is expected to release its 45nm Penryn chips, while AMD should deliver its native quad-core Phenom processors before the year is out. The latest rumblings around the Web have Penryn server chips launching in November (possibly 11/11), while you should be able to get an early glimpse at AMD's next-gen quad-core technology when the company releases its Barcelona server chips in September (looking like 9/10). Desktop parts are expected to follow shortly behind the server introductions. Should you wait for Penryn or Phenom desktop chips? There's an interesting forum debate happening today at The Tech Report that can help you answer that question.
My plan? I'm still humming along fine on an Athlon X2 machine because I refuse to upgrade to Vista, and I get my gaming fix from a console. So I'll happily wait until AMD and Intel release their new chips before upgrading my current system with a new motherboard and CPU. I figure early 2008 looks like a good time to buy, for my needs anyway. What's your plan for your next desktop-related purchase?