It goes FAR beyond gear. I know some people have lots of nice gear in a lame room filled with kids toys (sorry anyone!!!), while others have the same gear in a dedicated theater room with a theme, nice chairs, and perfect setup of the gear. That will be the winner!
Mine looks/feels/sounds the best......to me. that's all that matters. If an individual is pleased with their gear, regardless of the price, brand, set up, wow factor...then that's all that matters. Your money, your ears.
Yeah, the "cookie cutter" effect comes to home theater. We all take what works for one individual and then repeat it thousands of times.
Then, we all have the "best" theater.
And, I'm soooooooo jealous of those who own the ouststanding Bose systems. I'm in such envy everytime I see and hear those fabulous systems whenever I'm in a store that carries the product. And the size that gets produced from such tiny cubes ... how do they do it? Inquiring minds want to know.
While I know George Lucas has a few homes, I do know most of what's in his room in a N. California residence of his. He has a projector room with some monster Christie projector hitting a screen that is a maximum of 20' wide from what I am told. The sound was an upgrade that was kept "reasonable" with a Lexicon MC-12B outputing to a BSS FDS-366 performing the EQ and bass routing for the mains and subs. The speakers are Genelec 1034s for the front 3 with I believe some Genelec or Triads pulling surround duty. The subwoofers are a modest quantity of FOUR of our ContraBass subwoofers, each powered by a channel of a Crown K2. Topping it off and making it all work is a Crestron control system with full color touchscreens. I've heard that he may put in a video server and upgrade the seating. Not shabby in a room that's somewhere around 28' x 35' with 14' ceilings at the front and 10' ceilings at the back.
I don't know, I saw this article in a hometheater magazine several years ago, the guy had ratshack speakers on their own packing boxes for stands and loose car speakers hanging from some wires in the back for rears. The resourcefulness of the article blew me away as the guy stripped wires with his teeth and calibrated the video based by holding his hand against the tv and playing the episode of Jerry Springer he was on...