A friend of mine has asked me for some advice of some HT gear. His total budget is about $1000. My recommended split: 400 receiver 400 speakers 75 wire-- (100 feet from home depot should do him well, plus other sundries, banana plugs etc....) 60-70 for taxes The remainder will go toward the speaker of receiver. If you disagree with me, that is fine. He wants something that he won't have to upgrade for awhile. My first suggestion was that he go audition equipment, actually, I am repeating what Wayne A. Phifffffllesomethingthatistohardtoremember tells a lot of people. Right now he lives in a villa, so I figure that he will upgrade his speakers when he moves into a house a few years from now. I recommended the JBL SCS series. He can audition them locally. I would like him to check out something from HSU, but he might be reluctant to do the mail-order thing. But I digress. For $400 the only specific receiver that I can recommend is the Onkyo601, but I think that 6.1 is going to get skipped over and 7.1 will end up winning the marketing wars. I think he should get a 7.1 system and be happy with that for a long time. Is there anything out there that is a 7.1 system for that price? I don't think so, but it is his money. As for brands, I told him to look at H/K, Dennon, Onkyo and Yamaha. Any other suggestions? Let's have fun spending his money!!!