Welcome to the forum.
While I do not have a direct suggestion for you, I strongly recommend Harm Millaard's What PC to Build. Now, there have been some advancements in the higher-end stuff, so the article will not be quite up to date. However, he lists several levels of computer, and discusses what the trade offs are. You will be looking down the list a bit, and going for the budget machine.
What are you planning to edit?
While you do need AT LEAST 2 hard drives for any video editing (3 are better... physical drives, never a partition) the KIND of video you edit will direct the answer to your question
SD (Standard Definition) requires the least computer... HDV (I've read the format is "old" and being superceded) requires more power... and AVCHD requires a LOT of computer power to edit... an Intel i7 with lots (*) of ram and the aforementioned 2-or-3 hard drives
(*) Since PreEl is 32bits there is little advantage of more than 4Gig of ram and WinXP... for Premiere Pro CS5 I have Win7 64bit Pro and 12Gig of ram
I use a core duo 2.4g with 4mb ram, three hard disks, 1 OS, 2 Project files, 3 all my video only
Runs smoothly as long as you render the area just around complicated effects
Using the 3 disks this way made the biggest difference
But I would like a 4 core or faster one!
The first question is what type of video do you plan to edit? (What kind of camcorder is it coming from?)
The second is what is your budget?
I had thought that I would be going HDV. But it looks like it will be avchd. It will probably be a Canon. I also have video from my
digital camera which I think is mpeg4.
As far as budget, the truth... I would love to go to Office Depot, or Walmart, or Best Buy, or Costco and pick up an around $500 off the
shelf computer. I get the feeling that I am going to need more than that.
Is $1,000 possible, or am I pushing it?
Also, does it matter if it is Intel or AMD?
I would start with an i7 CPU, and probably one of the 9xx units. Then, I would add all the RAM that the MoBo can handle. Go for at least 2x HDD's (Hard Disk Drives), and 3x would be even better. I'd look at something like a 500GB for the C:\, and then at least 1TB for the others. SSD's will cost a lot more, and not really give you much, other than boot time. If you elect to go that route (and it's not really viable yet, IMHO), use that ONLY for the C:\, and go for 320GB. Make sure that the PSU (Power Supply Unit) can handle the load of the MoBo, CPU, HDD's and the video card, and then go with the next largest unit. Last, I'd go with all the coolers/fans, that you can get, in an adequately large case. Some are much better, than are others.
For peripherals, I like having two burners, and of different brands, as not every burner/drive handles every media the same. If one has to limit themselves to only one, I would go with a Pioneer, or LG unit. If you wish to do BD, and with AVCHD, you probably do, then go with a BD multi-drive.
As for Intel vs AMD, for video editing, I would stick with Intel. The instruction set is more suited for video editing, than AMD's. This is not a knock on AMD, as they make very good chips - for other tasks. Things might well change, as they often do, but for video, Intel rules right now.
OH, and I forgot the video card. Most good cards work well, until one moves up to PrPro CS5. However, I would shun any embedded Intel graphics chip, like the plague. I know, I just recommended an Intel CPU. Again, they make great chips, BUT with embedded graphics chips, their driver support is horrible. Stick with either an nVidia, or ATI/AMD graphics card. The exact make, or model is less important, than choosing one of those two.
This thread at Premiere Elements support site Muvipix.com lists some computer system recommendations and approximately how much they cost.
It's likely the costs have gone down a bit since the thread was posted, but I'd recommend, for editing AVCHD, that you go with the $1000 Intel i7 machine.
And I'd very much recommend you go with the 32-bit version of Windows 7 -- although you may find that most of the big box stores will try to force you into getting a 64-bit Windows 7 machine. If that's the case, you may want to look into an online retailed like the excellent NewEgg.com.