MemoryRecommendation: 1 X 256MB Crucial PC2100 (DDR266) module
Price: $35 shipped
Choosing the right type of memory for a budget system usually isn't too difficult nowadays. PC2100 speeds and CAS 2.5 latencies are common measurements of performance for memory modules, and are virtually the only two important performance-related factors when deciding to purchase memory, besides the actual size of your memory module (256MB is necessary for Windows XP). But if you can't spend a lot of money, performance should be the last thing on your mind when choosing memory. Price and reliability should be your only real considerations, in that order. For whatever reason, Newegg has stellar prices on Crucial memory modules, specifically the 256MB PC2100 kind that we are recommending here today. There are several other vendors in the U.S. selling 256MB Crucial PC2100 memory modules, but for more like $40 instead of $35, which is why we recommend buying from Newegg in this particular case. Though it should be noted that Nutrend and E-Wiz are selling 256MB Crucial PC2100 modules for under $40, they still cost more than Newegg's $35 shipped.
Anyway, with a $35 price tag, a reliable manufacturer in Crucial, and a lifetime warranty, there's simply no way you can go wrong with this memory.
Runner-up: 1 X 256MB Kingston PC2100 (DDR266) ValueRAM module
Price: $40 shipped
Newegg, Nutrend, and ZipZoomFly are three great vendors from which to buy Kingston memory. All three vendors are selling their 256MB Kingston PC2100 ValueRAM modules for roughly the same price, $40 shipped, give or take a dollar or two. In case you're curious, we're recommending PC2100 (DDR266) today because the Athlon XP 1800+ processor that we recommended runs at that exact same speed in terms of its FSB (Front Side Bus), 266.666MHz DDR to be exact. Running your FSB and main memory at the same speed is more often than not going to yield the best performance results, and is exactly why we recommend PC2100 instead of PC2700 or PC3200, not to mention that both of those memories are more expensive for zero performance gain anyway.
VideoRecommendation: 64MB Sapphire Radeon 9200
Price: $58 shipped
The Radeon 9200 is the AGP8X version of the Radeon 9000. Be sure that you're purchasing a Radeon 9200 with a 128 bit memory interface and not the Radeon 9200 video cards that are floating around out there with a 64 bit memory interface (also known as the "9200SE"). Vendors may or may not make this information clear when advertising their 9200 video cards, as the 128 bit 9200 is significantly faster than the 64 bit 9200 in 3D gaming.
As far as the onboard video memory size is concerned, 64MB should be more than enough for the majority of video games out there, and certainly enough for budget users. Additionally, ATI's current series of Radeon video cards continue to maintain excellent 2D IQ standards, and this will be likely more important to buyers on a tight budget than gaming performance. So don't fear, the clarity and sharpness of your 2D text will be excellent with a ATI/Sapphire-made Radeon 9200 series video card.
Runner-up: 64MB Sapphire Radeon 9200SE
Price: $41 shipped
The only other possible budget card that we can recommend at this time would be ATI's Radeon 9200SE, which is exactly what we just recommended above, save for the fact that the SE has a 64 bit memory interface instead of a 128 bit memory interface. Again, the difference going from 64 bit to 128 bit memory interface is noticeable in terms of 3D performance improvement, depending on what games you play. But if you could care less about gaming, a 9200SE isn't a bad way to save $17.
MonitorRecommendation: Samsung SyncMaster 17" Flat-Tube (model 763MB)
Samsung's SyncMaster series of monitors are very popular for price conscious buyers. With a 0.20mm dot pitch, 1280x1024 max resolution, and 3-year manufacturer warranty, you're getting a good bang for your buck monitor. You can pick this monitor up at your local Best Buy if you don't feel like waiting several days for your monitor to arrive in the mail.
Runner-up: NEC Diamondtron 17" CRT (model FE771SB)
This is one of the lower end models of the famous Diamondtron series of monitors. Max resolution is just 1280x1024 and dot pitch is a mediocre 0.25mm. However, the clarity and viewable area (16") of this monitor are better than the Samsung SyncMaster 763MB, and at just $30 more. A nice little upgrade if you're willing to spend the extra dollars.