I've finally convinced SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed), that its time to start building a home theater system. I finished my basement about 4 years ago and had done much of the pre-wiring for speakers and coax for satellite while doing the construction. I have an area of my basement that will be used for my theater watching (about a 1/4 of my basement. Its about 20ft long by 12 feet wide. I have an 8 ft high acoustical tile drop ceiling. I'm interested in installing a front project from the ceiling. I'd like to build the system in stages, so as to stretch the cost over a period of time. I'm looking for a logical order in which to purchase equipment to achieve that goal. Also, I'm interested in understanding what items are critical and should not be skimped on. For example, from my audio days, I knew that the speakers were the most critical, and would spend the most on them. The amp, cd player, etc. were not as critical to the final outcome. As far as a budget is concerned, I am trying to stay within the 5 to 7 thousand range for all the equipment. So, bring on the collective advise. Thanks very much for all who take the time to respond. Bart P.S. My primary interest is in watching Movies - No sports for me. And yes, I have a satellite system already.