This is essentially the same card I bought last year for $285.
New Egg has this for $150:
...and it has the faster 6870 for about $170:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349&cm_re=hd_6870-_-14-161-349-_-Product Conclusion for the Core and Card
Looks like we are hovering around $425 to $500. That's pretty good to run at full settings on a 1920 x 1080 monitor.
If you choose to run at a lower resolution... YOU WILL STILL BE RUNNING HIGHER THAN CONSOLE... and can knock this down by about $100. If you want to build a larger system you can still kick this down by another $50. This is not using crap parts but highly rated and quality stuff.
I ran for years at 1680 x 1050 resolution and I was very happy with great graphics on a 8800GT video card which now sells for less than $75 dollars. I only upgraded about 18 months ago and then was over driving that monitor until i upgraded that.
The stated system above should last for between 4 to 6 years and if you upgrade the video card can last longer. You can essentially thank the console market for retarding game graphics for that. Also 1920 x 1080 is HD and this is what many games are trying to optomize for.
In Part 3 I will go over all the other machine crap.
LOOK WHO CAME: