after some research and discussions with my mate thien.. i've decided to go with the following specs.
Intel i3-2120 3.3ghz with integrated graphics
Asus P8Z68 M-Pro motherboard
Gskill Ripjaws X 4gb DDR1600 ram
WD Caviar Green 2TB hdd
Antec Neo Eco 300W PSU
Antec Fusion black remote case
that should support everything i want out of the HTPC. the size of the case may be abit of a worry but i think i'll just need to find the right TV unit to accomodate it.
im still a little unsure about what software to run but its either going to be Windows Media Center (with plugins) or XBMC. Alot to think about lol