Originally Posted by guitarguy
that all sounds rather terrifying
It isn't, I promise you.
It sounds like you've never done much PC tech before, so it seems rather daunting. I suggest:
1 Do this with a friend who has experience with this
2 Look up PC building on google. You'll get loads of hits on this. The most useful sites will have step by step photos for the whole build
There's only two real danger points with building a PC:
1 Installing the mobo
2 Installing the CPU & CPU cooler
Before buying any parts, ask us here about the ones you're interested in and you'll get loads of good advice.