Air is best for novices (I run air because I move too much to rely on liquid).
I beg to differ. You can get very good results from air as long as you take into consideration the kind of rig your building and understand how air flows inside your case. Also, the ambient room temperature plays a big roles too (my room never goes above 66deg F and air flow is directed toward the intake fans).
As it stands my average sys & cpu temp sit right around 50c. When under full load the system temp & CPU fluctuate between 55-60c. Also note that my rig is over clocked enough to generate a notable heat difference.
Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83 @ 3.4ghz
Sapphire HD 4870: Core clock 500 @ 790 / mem 1100mhz
EP45-UD3P-FSB 1600mhz @ 1724mhz
8 gig of G-skill DDR2 1066 (For whatever reason I can barely get this speed out of them, compatibility issues w/the board I suppose)
Both dvd & bluray drives
1x 150g Raptor (should have got 2 and stripped them )
3x 1tb WD
1x 2tb WD
With the exception of the 2tb drive the others see near constant use. I really don't see water cooling making enough of a difference to justify the trouble of switching over. Maybe next year whenever I make the switch to i7 I think take another look at water cooling.
Too many fans for a given case: Just because you can mount them doesn't mean you should
Fans pointed in the wrong direction: Either have more CFM (found on the manufacturers website of the fans) in or more CFM out, equal isn't ideal. You can run air from rear to front, but its generally not a good idea as most cases are designed for air in at the front bottom and out at the top and or top rear.
Cable management: It's key, no matter what your'e setup, at the very least zip tie your cables together. Ideally route them behind the mobo or sleeve them. Cables block air flow or disrupt it causing hot spots.
There are loads of great articles all over the net and even on youtube. Overclockers.net and other sites have tons of stickies and many picture examples of popular cases.
This however I aggree with 100%