I have assigned my wife the unenviable task of selecting a home theater system for me as an upcoming birthday and Christmas present. Of course as I do this, I'm pretty much trying to pick the system myself and sorting through 1001 possible choices. Therefore I've turned to this forum for your collective expertise... A little background setup before my questions: I currently own a beautiful 55" widescreen HDTV ready Mitsubishi 1080 rear projection television. I have an older Toshiba 2-disk DVD player (that does not have current progressive scan features available on the market) My budget is anywhere from $500 (to $1000 if I really butter up my wife this holiday season!) In choosing a system I'm looking for dynamic sound quality for movies more than general music play, however if I solve the cinematic problems I'm sure I'll be happy with my CD sound as well. While the room is oblong, approximately 12' x 20', the orientation of television is across the shorter axis on one end, thus yeilding an approximate 12' x 12' viewing area (where the 5 or six speakers will be arranged) I've gone back in forth with the idea of an all-in-one HTB vs. building as system out of individual components. Looking at the first option my research has yielded three possibilities: Yamaha YHT-941 (800 watt 6.1 channel, Dolby Digital, 5-disc progressive scan dvd included, etc. - lots of bells and whistles with a THX certification - no reviews available) - $995 Yamaha YHT-740 (690 watt 6.1 channel, Dolby Digital, 5-disk progressive scan dvd, etc. - essentially the same bells and whistles without THx certification - excellent reviews) - $799 Onkyo Dolby Digital EX/DTS (6.1 channel - 600 watts - similar features with excellent consumer reviews/ratings) - $549.99 Looking at my other option I have a world of available receivers to go with an existing dvd player, and lots of speaker options My questions are as follows: Any quick assessment on any of the three chosen HTB systems? (Of those three, I would be particularly interested in hearing opinions of the YHT-941 since I do not want to overpay for a system and not realize any added benefits, or sound quality). Any recommended alternatives within my price range? If I go with individual components (lets say an Onkyo, Denon, or HK receiver), what speakers would someone recommend? Having perused a few home audio stores (which immediately want to sell you on their most elaborate (yet beautifully sounding systems) I am ultimately looking for an affordable starter system that finally allows me to experience in sound what I only enjoy in picture with my current television and dvd player. While I like the convenience of HTB systems, am I sacrificing too much sound quality? Thanks much for your assistance.