I pick a budget first off, $300 is my sweet spot, Then see what card gives the best performance for my nominated budget.
If it looks like Im not going to get thr required increase in or level of performance then I bump up the budget a little.
Dont run overclocks, dont care about noise, heat or energy use. (though have come unstuck when I went to fit a card and it was 3cm's to loong for my case....)
That seems fair enough! Do you ever buy overclock cards though? Since they usually have a higher base clock too?