Need recommendations on upgrading comp

I'm not extremely techy on comps, but thinking about upgrading some parts. The rig I have now is about 2 years old. I wanna look for something that will make a big jump from what I have so any recommendations/advice is appreciated. I'm a Professional Game designer and mainly use it for heavy graphic apps such as photoshop, 3Ds max, zbrush, Maya and so on. I would also like to play some of the latest games like modern warfare2, left4dead, assassins creed 2 etc.

What i have now runs everything fine, but wouldn't mind the extra speed if its possible. I just installed Win7 64 bit and came to notice there is minor choppyness watching youtube or flash player vids on any browser. Some graphic applications seem to load a little longer too. Even in games there are some minor lags randomly, but no big deal. I thought it could be a graphic issue, but my drivers are already up to date. When using XP (32bit), everything seemed to work faster. If anyone knows a fix to this, please say! Other than that, maybe upgrading a few parts would help.

I was thinking about getting the new Phenom 2's (3.2 GHz or something), but heard i need a new motherboard. And if i get a new motherboard, i'd have to get DDR3 ram, because they don't take my DDR2's, right? this would be ok so i can move up to 6 or 8 gigs. As for video cards, I hear the late Radeons 4000 series are a big jump from what i use now?

Or do you think I should switch to Intel processors and nvidia cards? :) So should I upgrade my vid card and cpu? If I do, would that require me to get new ram and motherboard?

I don't wanna blow a ton of cash but i'm expecting to shell out maybe $400-$500 max. cheaper if possible to keep up with all this technology non-sense :) Heck maybe i should just keep what i have? I'll be shopping at canada computers!

My current specs are:

-AMD Phenom 9500 Quad Core Processor 2.2GHZ 4MB 95W Socket AM2+ (but somehow i think its running at 1.8. Anyway to check?)
-4 gigs or RAM, but use 2 different sets. (2 gigs of corsair XMS2 5400 (667mhz) and (2 gigs of corsair XMS2 6400 800mhz)
-Radeon HD 3870 512MB PCI-E
-Windows 7 Ultimate Retail 64-bit
-Caviar Black western digital 500GB (c drive)
-Two Caviar black 1TB hard drives for other stuff and backups.
-Antec 900 gamer tower


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