An awesome and generous person is offering me a 9800 GTX+ for the cost of shipping. So if we can get the rest of the parts down into budget range(I can go a little above budget if necessary, but not too much more), then I'm in business.
Thanks for all the help so far and in advance for any further help.
Edit: So, at $300 for the Barebones Kao linked(or about 280 for the setup linked by BeanX minus the graphics card), $60 for the Hard Drive BeanX linked, ~25 for a decent SATA DVD reader/burner, that should leave me in the neighborhood of $60 for an OS. Assuming I can find a student version, that should be easy enough. Of course, I'm still looking at shipping for everything, but like I said, I can go a bit over without too much concern, and I already assumed I'd probably have to for the shipping anyway.
Edited, Mar 14th 2013 2:31pm by Poldaran