Pentium's + low end graphics cards
So, the cheapest build I could get from this site was a $460 A8 APU build. Instead of an APU at a low budget, try to use an Intel Pentium + something like a HD 6670. It will perform a lot better than an APU build. I managed to get a $415 pentium + HD 6670 build while ChooseMyPC went with an A8 apu with 8GB of RAM. However, you can go a lot lower with an A8 APU with 4GB RAM and a low end motherboard, but it doesn't seem like this site supports low end motherboards and prefers 8GB of RAM.
Will do! I also need to add Trinity APUs.
Yes, upgrade-ability is much better with the APU since it has 4 cores. Another suggestion I have then is to add an "upgrade-ability" option, like a) get the best performance out of the budget or b) get the best option if you can spend another $100-200 within a year on the computer.
Pentiums are great performers for their price, but obviously not as good as a quadcore, but they will blow the APUs when it comes to single/dual-threaded games like Blizzard games for example.
However, you should at least take my APU suggestion in to consideration. A low end motherboard with 4GB 1866 RAM and an A8 APU will perform very well for a much lower price than your suggested A85 motherboard with 8GB RAM.