hayduke, your build tips and watchouts helped me immensely, many many thanks again!
Btw, I mistakenly soldered the 2x3 header upside down (longer pins to board). When I tried the jumpers they would not stay on
I had to desolder the header and ended up melting its plastic in the process (what a pain that was - this was the time sachu's advice came in handy: "Put the iron down and walk away if you're ticked off!"). I replaced it with 6 sip sockets, although a dpdt switch would've been the ideal replacement I didn't have one on hand and I was eager to get it setup.
TimJo, appreciate the kind words
In terms of the casework, actually can't wait to get started. I have a change of heart about "matching" cases with my next build (CTH). I'm under the impression that the SOHA II and CHT are fairly close like brothers, but it'll be nice to keep their own distinct 'personalities'.
Here's a quick mock up of what I've envisioned so far, of course it could change depending on how much ventilation is needed... we'll see how close the final product will look