thanks for replying AaronC7.
i'm most likely going to go with the P4. As of right now, like I said, I'm looking to spend around $2000. i already have monitor, keyboard, mouse. just need the tower and everything in it.
i'm not looking forward to it, but the more and more research i do, it seems that i may be better off building this one myself (and i have a feeling i'll funk it up somehow).
i love the alienware daw systems, but they're working out to be at least...