@Gurm - BenQ are a manufacturer of drives, Sony is probably going to source drives from them soon (see news). They are allied with Phillips - which produce the Nexperia chipset used in the drives.
Good to go Intel -> watch out for the heat. More casefans would be good, but don’t expect this puppy to be quiet.
SATA HDD’s can help -> look for NCQ which will help speed things up when multitasking (or should - research shows little improvement) but it sort of prevents the hard disk from seeking all over the place and optimises command order for higher speed.
Ram -> yet again, the more the better. Good quality brand names are a start. Heatspreaders look good, and probably reduce the temps but effects of it I haven’t noticed. 1GB is a good idea, i have 1GB and it’s about good enough. Maybe 1.5/2GB if you can afford it. As for type -> whatever processor and Chipset u get determines the type. New intels, go DDR2 (so far so good).
As for graphics cards, if you don’t play games, not so much of a problem. If you watch DVD’s etc. be sure to get at least a minimal board - like cheapy board. Don’t ever use integrated -> slows down memory accesses too.
Finally, ripping - try the AOpen drive pplz have been ravin on about, or even the BenQ 16xx’s with the MSCE Read Patch -> they are a close second in speed, and aren’t that expensive.