I guess I should probably defend my reasoning for going with an i7 since most people seem to be disagreeing with that choice.
1st off, Nyczzz said specifically he didn't like AMD, and he was looking specifically for a quadcore.
The Gateway, caught my eye mainly because it was the only Quad Core Intel they had in the store, others had AMD and i just dont like AMD
So that rules out the Phenom 2's (which is what I normally would probably go to on an $800-$900 dollar budget), as well as the intel dual cores. At this point we're left with basically the i7 920 or the Core2 Q9950 as being the logical processors to choose. This leaves the real question to be, why pick the i7 over the core2?
The core 2 will save you $50 on the CPU and anywhere between $0 and $120 on the motherboard depending on what you want to get. (Around $80 for a 750i mobo, but virtually nohing for a 780i or 790i mobo) So if you want a cheap motherboard yeah you can save with the Core2 quad, like this Asus 750i. But going even to this cheaper Asus 780i leaves you poaying only $25 less than the i7 motherboard. (You will save a few bucks on the RAM too but you'll get 4gb instead of 6gb, if go up to the next RAM step, which would be 8gb, you'll save nothing)
The last thing to consider, and what ultimatly decided it for me was product lifespan. the LGA775 socket that the Core2's use is at the end of the road. Intel alread has their new socket 1366 out for the i7's, and their mainstream line are going to be swapping to a socket 1156 with the i5 line coming out soon. So if you were to get the Core2 you'd be buying a platform that's just about at the end of it's effective life, while going with the i7 you'd be getting one thats very future friendly. (in socket, as well as RAM standard with ddr3 as opposed to ddr2)
The sticking point I know was the video card, a 9600gt is rather weak I will admit, but it's also very easy to SLI it later, or swap it for a GTX260+. From reading what you were listing as you prime uses for the PC, (Animation, moderate gaming, work DB stuff) the power of the i7 processor I feel would be more likely to see immediate benefit than you would be to notice the lack of a higher end video card. (Plus the stated monitor won't be an ultra high resolution to tax a GPU)
Those are my thoughts anyways based off of what you stated. If you were willing to give AMD a try I could probably build you a very nice Phenom2 x4 that would give you better video performance with just a slight CPU hit, (Would still use an Nvidia card) but thats your call.