Home Theater System Hunting

I think I’m going to be making quite a big purchase here in a couple of weeks. I’ve been looking into home theater systems for the last year or so and now with a friend of mine making his recent purchase of one, I’m hard up on getting something soon.

My original goal was to stick to sub-$300 systems, but you know how things go. “Oh, for only $15 more, I can get this instead…” and so on. Well, I’m up to about $600 now. I was thinking about maybe sticking with Sony, but their stuff has NEVER been reliable for me and the reviews out there have been so against getting anything from that brand. The general concensus from everyone is it’s built like crap. I fully agree. Brand loyalty is thrown out the window now. I was originally gonna get the Pioneer HTP-220S. It’s a great system, but it only has 1 digital optical input. I want to be able to hook up all of my devices for true Dolby Digital 5.1.

Now I’ve got my mind set on the Onkyo HT-S650. This thing has been getting editor’s pick from everyone reviewing it and is basically the cream of the crop (even recommended over Bose). The only thing that’s been scoring better are the higher end Onkyo systems and $1500+ Bose systems. Seems like a fine choice considering the cost is less than half of that.

Let me know if you guys have any recommendations or experience with this stuff.