Basically, I'm in college on a PC laptop. I intend to get an iPod soon, and am interested in the possibility of snagging speakers. But I really have never felt the need to get speakers beyond those that came w/ my old desktop. So, forgive the following questions if they seem too dumb: -Does 4.1/5.1 require me to have a soundcard? If so, these are not an option as I don't wish to spend $150 for an external USB soundcard in addition to the price of speakers. -Can I just plug a 2.1 set of speakers into my headphone jack? On either my laptop or iPod? -In all likelihood, I'll go w/ a 2.1 set. So, anyone have any recommendations? The JBL Creature speakers look pretty nifty and sound pretty decent. How are those? Thanks for the info to those who reply. Please keep in mind that I'm not a dedicated audiophile (as you can tell from my silly questions above), so I don't need the absolute best performance (I ripped all my CDs to 128Kbps AAC files). The best balance btwn. value and performance is basically what I'm looking for.