$1,200 budget without monitor/KB/M is a good bit. Check out this $1,000 budget part list I put together. LINK
It's a solid build that includes a 7970 and an SSD. If you were going to put another $200 into that build, I'd just increase the capacity of the SSD, upgrade the harddrive to the faster Caviar Black, double your RAM from 8GB to 16GB, and upgrade your motherboard to a slightly more overclocking friendly board with more power phases. And then you get this build: LINK
There's just not a whole lot more you'll get by throwing the $200 at a better GPU, unless you go with a crossfire 7950 setup, but crossfiring should be done as an upgrade, not as an initial purchase.