Well I got my pair of Wharfedale Valdus 500's from UPS today. First things first, I bought them on UBID for $89/speaker on 1-10-03. Received them today 1-15-03, in Kansas, quite a distance from their warehouse, but quickly nonetheless. First, I've never used UBID before, but am 100% satisfied with the results. The boxes were unharmed, and they followed their word. Have heard some people have had problems in the past, but luckily I've had none. Now..on to the speakers. Unfortunately, I won't be able to vouch for the sound for a couple days, planning on picking up some speaker wire when I fly down to Wichita this evening, and besides, my 53" Panny shot craps 2 days ago, only 3 months old the SOB, so I'm waiting to get it serviced. Anyways, initial thoughts, they are VERY attractive speakers. The wood is nice, drivers are not bad, only thing is they aren't bi-wirable and the speaker cover is fairly cheap(reminds me of the Sony covers). They're about as tall as ND-310's(which I had planned on getting) and about as wide as N-38's(for all you Best Buy regulars). Why I picked Wharfedale....well money wasn't a major factor in me buying speakers, I'm out of college, not married(yet), and have a great job....I got these speakers because guaranteed no one else on the block has them. They are DIFFERENT, which is why I'm hoping I like them. Had planned on an entire JBL set-up, but everyone has JBL(probably because they're good). I have a Valdus Center coming shortly and plan on stopping at that for the Valdus line...UNLESS...I like them. I can cut my loss right now if I had to, but I'm hoping they sound pretty good. For the price that I paid for them...$270 total to the door...and another $63 for the center to the door, I think I might have a good bargain?! If nothing else, I'll never turn them on, but let them sit and look pretty till I pick up something else. Might be getting another pair for the rear, if I like them, but we'll see. Saw some Emerald 97's on UBID with 1C shipping today, they would be nice also for everyone wanting to take a chance. Will post more later.