We often recommend factory refurbished denon's and Onkyo's from ac4l.com. They come with a one year factory warranty and many of us have purchased from them before. The Onkyo RC 330 is the cheapest 5.1 receiver they carry @ $119 + sh. For HDMI up-conversion you will need the Onkyo 608 or Denon 1913 @ $259 and $319
It's a very basic receiver but would be much better than anything you'ld get from a htib.
An open box but a decent deal if you can swing it
I usually don't recommend Sony receivers but the 720 is about the cheapest out there with HDMI up-conversion. Or maybe you can find an H/K 1600 or 1700 as an open box or on close-out. But make sure the warranty is valid.
As for speakers, they are a very personal choice. Polks are always popular, JBL has been around for a very long time and Klipsch is a lovethem or hate them thing as they tend to be very bright. But definently look for speaker that are listed as being 6 or 8 ohms of resistance (very important not to buy 4 ohm speakers) and an spl (sound pressure level) of 88 or higher so the receiver doesn't have to work very hard. Polks are fairly efficient, JBL's about average while Klipsch are usually very efficient with their horn loaded tweeters, which also makes them very bright-some might say harsh=sounding. Listen to as many different speakers if at all possible.
A good place to buy Polk Monitors (as well as other speakers and receivers).
Speaker packages on the cheap
http://www.newegg.co...82E16882325104R (open box)
http://www.newegg.co...82E16882290066R (open box)
This is the same as the ever popular Energy Take Classic 5.1 but with a different name on it
Bigger speakers and a bigger subwoofer but not quite as good as Polk Monitors. Also refurbished and I liked it a lot better when it was $149 instead of $199. Still not that bad for 7 speakers and a decent subwoofer.
Edited by gene c, May 11 2013 - 06:02 AM.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Dynaudio Audience 50's, 40's 122C, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.
"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Adcom GF-700 5.1 receiver, OPPO BDP-80 BR player, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
Also have...too much to list. Help me.