$1,000 is actually quite normal for gaming computers (I assume his is used for gaming since he has the 680) these days. And it's really not to bad if you do incrementally like he said.
For instance I usually put anywhere from $50 to $150 every month away for my technology upgrades. After about 3 years I have anywhere from $1,800 to $5,400 that I can spend on technology upgrades (Which includes a laptop, desktop, software, whatever). Normally I just keep on saving and wait for a sale on what I want to come about and I can find pretty good prices (Like I got my GTX 680 for $400 which was a steal).
How much did you guys pay?
As computerquip said it is kind of hard to say since I bought everything over a large period of time but I would say the desktop system is probably about $1,700 or somewhere near there.
I didn't go Intel, I didn't buy a super expensive case (under $100), I didn't buy the most badass motherboard on the planet... the only thing I splurged on really was buying the memory which was pretty recent... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231616
Got tired of worrying about memory consumption and clock speed has a rather nice FPS boost in different games.
March 2009 built: Intel Core i7-920 on Asus P6T, 12 GB ram (6x2 OCZ). Dark Knight II cpu fan (my earlier setup was water-cooled) and two extra 120mm Scythes, in addition to three 120mm fans that came with Antec P182 case, 3x1.5T WD Black HDD, Das Keyboard Ultimate (unlabeled) and Wacom Bamboo, no mouse.
Don't remember what was there for graphics initially (something ancient I had lying around), but it was swapped for a Geforce GTS 450 in 2010.
I want to put together something new and exciting (core i7-4930K looks like a nice toy) but nothing is dying in this thing, not even a single fan, despite running continuously for 4.5 years.
I actually purchased a motherboard and CPU off newegg and both of them were bad :( The motherboard had bad ram slots and the CPU just doesn't work had to RMA them both. Other than that everything I bought on newegg was really cheap and shipped fast same with amazon.