The first step in building a PC is to choose the components. In the first edition of this book, we included a chapter on designing a PC. As popular as that chapter was, it went out of date even before the book was published. For later editions, we decided to put such time-sensitive information on our web site, where it can be updated.
For the configurations we currently recommend, visit http://www.hardwareguys.com/guides/guides.html. There you'll find component lists, links to pricing information, and advice on choosing components for anything from a no-frills system to a high-performance system. We don't guarantee that these are the "best" system configurations possible (whatever that means), but they should at least provide a solid point of departure when you design your own system.