Thanks to the following info on their Web site, I've decided to go with new....
"We do not test any product, including Refurbished items. Refurbished components are therefore only tested by the original manufacturer. Due to the varying quality of manufacturer testing, YOU ARE TAKING A RISK BUYING REFURBISHED PRODUCTS. Refurbished items are OPEN BOX products that contain components that have previously been owned by other clients and returned to us. These products are sold considerably under cost.
Despite what the product's description indicates, refurbished merchandise may not include all of the accessories mentioned on our website or the manufacturers. We are therefore limited to the barebone part of the item itself. Please do not be upset or surprised if a refurbished product does not contain any cables, manual, software, drivers, fan, et al. We will not send you any missing accessories, even if it is an essential part.
We certainly does not like to discourage sales, but only experienced pc enthusiasts should consider refurbished items that know how to deal with possibly missing accessories. Please only purchase refurbished products if you are willing to resolve defects and/or know how to obtain missing accessories."
yeah, i went refurbished and the missing accessories are annoying. getting sata cables was kind of a pain, and i still don't have a back template plate (the asus board is not a standard atx template.) i contacted asus about getting one from them and they told me to return the mb. thanks, that's helpful.
oh, and asus support is not 'great' as the big blue article claims. i've yet to talk to anyone there, they've claimed they'll call me back 2x, and email resulted in the above stock answer.