...are the people who buy their products without thought, research or consideration. Before you flame me, here's the story so far: I have a colleague who knows that I'm really "into the whole home theater thing" and came to me for advice about a week ago. She had seen a 32-inch Panasonic Tau at Best Buy running a HD loop and was just blown out of the water. Then she saw the new 16:9 Toshiba 34HF81 direct-view set and loved it even more. She wanted to stick to tube sets and BB had given her some 18-month no payments deal and she wanted to know what I thought of the TV. I told her that for the money ($2500) she couldn't really go wrong on a 16:9 direct-view HD-ready TV. Well, as it turned out, BB were backordered (55 orders in line--great for 16:9 sets!) through December and she ended up getting the Panasonic, which cost about $800 less anyway. Here's where the trouble began. Her husband suggested that since they were "saving" money on that set, they should also get a surround sound set-up. Yup, can you say impulse buy? To make things worse, they bought the Bose 3-2-1 system for $1000!!! She told me all this the next day at work and I told her to take the Bose stuff back. It was still in the box at the time, as they were waiting until the TV was delivered before setting up. I calmly explained to her that her thousand dollar Bose "system" was NOT a surround sound system: it come with TWO speakers, a sub and an integrated DVD player/receiver. I mean, hello? how can you claim that the product will deliver DD5.1 or DTS when you only have speakers for 2 channels?!? And yet, there it is on the product spec sheet. Sure, the player/receiver will decode DD5.1 and DTS soundtracks, but what's the point? And all this for $1000?!? This is blatant deception of uninformed consumers on the part of the Bose Corporation! Yeah, I'm sure that player/receiver will put out some quasi-surround via DSP processing, but the end result is still not going to be anything near what Dolby, DTS or the sound engineers intended. Anyways, I knew my friend would be intimidated by anything other than HTIB, so I recommended a bunch of Sony's Dream Systems to her. I'd previously done so with other friends who really wanted an all-in-one solution and they loved what they went with. Anyways, the top of the line Dream System features very nicely integrated low-profile speakers and boasts a 5-disc DVD/SACD changer for around $750 street. Even from direct from Sony, the set is $999. I'd also recommened the DAV-S500 which can be had at BB for around $500 to $600 for a quick and easy return and exchange. Here's the kicker: my friend told me today that she and her husband had decided to keep the Bose 3-2-1. Why? Because they just didn't want the "whole big home theater rig." Now, I can respect not wanting your living room to be dominated by tons of equipment. But paying $1000 for stuff that shouldn't cost more than say $300???!!! I mean, they could just get one of the Sonys and just hook up 2 speakers if that's the way they want to go! Sorry for the long, ranty post. I just don't understand when people throw money away at bloated companies--EVEN AFTER THEY GET THE FACTS. Anyone else gone through the same thing? I'd hate to think I'm the only person who's good advice has fallen on very deaf ears. Sigh. They could have given ME the $1000 and I'd get them something for half of that, that would kick the 3-2-1's ass.