As I am a real novice in the whole HT area, and as there are a whole host of options available for equipment purchase since I last lived in the States (background: I’ve spent the last seven years in Asia/Pacific and most of the two years before that in South America) I have a general question on how some of you came to your equipment decisions. Basically, the WEB appears to give some very favorable options, insofar as value for money is concerned. I’ve followed several of the discussions for the last few months (I knew that I’d want to make some changes when I returned) and I see two general trends: (1) those who attempt to listen to their choices and make comparisons as to which speakers best fit their personal preferences and budget and (2) those who also include speakers which are not generally available for audition (and even when they are, do not lend themselves well for comparison purposes). I’ve read very persuasive arguments, from those of you who have purchased speakers sight (or sound) unseen and are quite pleased. I’ve also read the advice that as speakers is such a personal taste choice; you should listen before making up your mind. How is one to decide? To cite one example on my personal quandary, I am ready to replace my subwoofer (other speakers next). After reading several threads in this forum (and some other research), it appears as though SVS, Hsu and Adire all have models that would be satisfactory for my needs. I have, of course actually heard none of them. How is one to compare? And further, how do you make the comparison of any (or all) of these against similar models of brands that can easily be auditioned? And even within one manufacture’s line, how does one compare one model against another? For only one example, I’d like to listen to both the VTF-2 and VTF-3 and determine if the VTF-3 is, for me, worth the additional money. On the plus side, it appears as though it will be pretty hard to make an unsatisfactory choice, given the discussions in this forum. Still, I’d like to think that I made a reasonably optimal choice, though likely not the perfect one. I know that this has been fairly rambling, and it may not make a lot of sense to those of you who have been involved for some time. Still I will be quite interested in your thoughts as to how I should approach my choices, and as to how you made yours. BTW, although I don’t know very much about HT and how to choose equipment under today’s conditions, I am reasonably experienced over a number of years in listening to music on moderate to high-end equipment. My tastes are classical (especially opera), jazz, blues, bluegrass, C&W, etc. I plan to use the new system about 60%HT to 40% music, as I have a two-channel system from years ago that still fits my music needs. Thanks for any suggestions that you can provide.