I've built two. My first was ~7 years ago (when I was 12 lol) and the other was 1.5 yrs ago.
My latest build:
Core i7-2600K (4.2GHz OverClocked from 3.4GHz)
Noctua NH-C14 CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz 8GB RAM (OverClocked to 1866MHz)
Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4 Motherboard
Gigabyte Super Overclock Series GTX 560 Ti Windforce 1GB 256-bit
Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB HDD 64Mb Cache SATA 6.0GB/s
Patriot Torqx2 32GB SSD
LG Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Burner Drive with LightScribe Technology
Thermaltake Black Widow 850W Power Supply
9- 120mm Blue Computer Fans (expandable to 15)
Antec LanBoy Air Blue/Black Computer Case
AMD processors will definitely have better built in graphics, but the Intel processors are more powerful out of the box. From my experience, if you want an AMD to perform as well as an Intel, it has to be overclocked. If you aren't going to do any gaming on it though, it should be plenty good. I don't have any experience with MSI boards but heard they're junk after a year or so... I've always bought Gigabyte mobos since I've had pretty good luck with them. I almost bought an Asus board but heard from a few people they require more "setup" to get it to work nicely. As for the Power supply, depending on your plans for dedicated graphics cards later on 500W's might not be sufficient but it will depend on the card you go with. Corsair PSU's also tend to be pricey but if you can get a deal on one around the holidays, they're a good choice. Definitely go with HDMI for hooking it up to your TV. VGA is a really low-resolution alternative and the quality might not be pretty on a 30" monitor. VGA on my 23" looks a bit pixely. G.SKILL RAM is good quality. I've always gone with Corsair because I had no issues with it in my old build. I'd recommend a Seagate or Western Digital hard drive. They're good quality and reliable. I have a Hitachi hard drive in my laptop and it's starting to make louder and louder noises when used that sound like birds chirping.
Be careful with Win 8. If you dual boot it and Win 7 or some other OS is installed on another drive, Windows might try to be kind and "Scan and Repair" your other partitions. It did that to me after installing some updates. It totally corrupted everything on my Win 7 partition. Contacted Microsoft to see if they could help me salvage it based on the updates installed, but all they wanted to do was Remote Desktop to my PC so that he could get the information that I had already provided him.
I would imagine a VM should be safe from feeling the wrath of Win 8 though