uhhh try this for NOW (aka FS2004 smoothly):
3ghz class CPU (Either P4 3.06 or Athlon XP3000)
For the P4: get a dual 400mhz motherboard if you can (this will list as 800mhz most places), 1GB of DDR-RAM is sufficient.
AMD: Look for NForce2 333 or 400mhz, 1GB of DDR3200 or 3700 RAM.
Id recommend getting a board with RAID on it, this will allow you to increase the number you can put in it more easily. Also look for USB2
and IEEE1394 (Firewire) on board if you can. Serial ATA isnt really worth it yet so if you have the choice, get the non-SATA board.
Video: Radeon 9700Pro or 9800Pro, the GeForce FX
cards arent worth the money they cost and they cant compete with the Radeon Pros anyways, a budget alternative is the Radeon 9500/9600Pro, all the Radeons over 9500 are DirectX9 compliant, so they'll run all the new upcoming games with all the visual candy.
Hard Disks: I'd get 2 Western Digital WD1200JB drives, 120GB with 8mb cache, and they arent that expensive...
Sound... this comes down to personal preferrence, either SB
Audigy/Audigy 2 or Turtle Beach Santa Cruz... or you might use the onboard motherboard sound, most NF2 boards and about 50% of P4 boards come with onboard sound, but the quality you'll get is a crap-shoot. speakers same deal, decide how much you wanna spend on those...
Other stuff... minimum: CDROM=48x, 52 or 56 is better, or a DVD-ROM or Burner. Depending on what kind of internet you have you might need a modem and/or network card (lots of motherboard have built in Network now, even Gigabit class on some). Monitor and other peripherals i can't advise on except to avoid LCDs unless you REALLY dont have the room for the CRT, reason being for the price of a 17/18" LCD
you can get a 21" CRT and the CRT can refresh the screen faster (there are exceptions, some new NEC LCDs have good refresh rates but they cost even more...)... and with all games faster refresh is what you want.
Things to avoid: Celeron/Duron processors, A Board with a chipset from ALiMagik (also avoid SIS on AMD, though on P4 its less of an issue), non ATI/Nvidia based video cards (ESPECIALLY onboard video). Also its normally a good idea to go with a known brand if you arent going to build you own, or at least to buy it from a store you trust, dont buy it from Joe's Computers on the corner... especially if it doubles as the local 7/11 type store...
hope that helps ya...
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.