I think I'm going with an i7 (or AMD equivalent) CPU, probably a 5th or 6th gen, as I definitely do not want to fool with all the workarounds to get the current 'latest&greatest' parts to work with Win 7. I could use some suggestions as to which specific models to consider....i7-5775C, i7-6700K, or something else? For motherboards, out of the box native support & drivers for Win 7 is essential. Beyond that I need minimum 16GB RAM capacity, VGA port required, the more expansion slots and SATA connectors the better, at least four USB 2.0 ports, and eSATA if possible. This is about as far as I've gotten. I have bought a CMStorm Trooper SGC-5000-KWN1 case, and Asus Xonar D2/PM/A PCIe audio card. Cost is not a big consideration since parts will be acquired piecemeal, but I doubt I would pay more than $300 for any component. Recommendations for parts welcomed.