Hey guys, I'm VERY new around here and have yet begun to get past the tip of the ice berg as far as reading through the site goes. My goal in building this project up is to get a great DVD watching platform, since my girl and I like watching a lot of movies. I've already done a bunch of research and more importantly, I've come up with a budget. Budget is as follows: TOTAL FOR THE RECEIVER AND SPEAKER COMBO IS $850!! RECEIVERS - BUDGET UNDER $450 As far as receivers go, I'd been looking at the: Harman Kardon 235 (~$340) and 335 (~$420) Kenwood VR-9070-S (~$310) Pioneer VSX-1014TX-K (~$320) Pioneer VSX-D914-K ($250) Yamaha RX-V550 (~$300) Sony STR-DE898/B (~$260) I listed them in the order of how my preference. I'm trying to find something that's nice looking (HK, Kenwood, Pioneer 1014) and that works well, however, performance comes first. These are after reading reviews on CNet and looking at performance and the numbers. I really haven't heard these receivers and speakers, since no one around me carries them except best buy and circuit city and its hard to get a feel for them in their stores. The receivers are where I'm really stuck. I don't know much about them, their ease of use or how durable they are. I know the HK's power ratings are on the low side, but they have some of the most clear sounding receivers. They also have the best looking (IMO) receivers of the bunch. I also wanted to keep the system SIlVER if possible or atleast everything matching. I currently have a silver Sony dvd player, but I'm not too concerned about this $120 player compared to the $400 receiver. But it'd be nice to get something that matches. SPEAKERS - BUDGET UNDER $500 As far as speakers go, I've again come down to a couple sets of speakers, most of which are smaller. I haven't really gone and found individual speaker components, I found the package type deals, which are more affordable for me. Here's what I'm looking at in the order of my preference: Harman Kardon HKTS 14 (~$375) Smaller speakers, has the largest (12") subwoofer of my picks, only a 5.1 system, but allows me to add bigger front speakers (Klipsche floor standing or whatnot) without "throwing away" speakers one day. I cal also add the HK HKS4's to make this a 7.1 for $120. Onkyo SKS-HT240 (~$350) Has a 6.1 system with smaller speakers meant for an LCD or Plasma display. Rated very highly on Cnet, but they look kinda weird to me. Only has an 8" 150 watt sub as well, but according to the review, it performed well. Onkyo SKS-HT520S (~$300) Has a complete 7.1 package, is cheaper than the HK, but has larger, "uglier" speakers, which are harder to integrate into this system. Harman Kardon HKTS 8 (~$289) a cheaper, smaller version of the HKS 14, with a much smaller sub with less power. Appears that the Onkyo system sounds better due to the larger sub. Its also a 6.1 system, which is a plus, but probably won't outperform the Onkyo anyway, since the Onk is 7.1. JBL SCS-180.6 SCS (~$269) Cheaper than the rest, but is only a 6.1 system. Appears to be the cheapest quality of the bunch as well, but at least is more compact than the Onkyo system. So what do you guys think? Is there another better system that I missed? I posted this in the speaker forum as well, I hope that's ok!