The HT-S3400 has got a lot of good reviews on Amazon and Newegg.com. I think if you have never had a home theater system, you are not an audiophile and want an entry level system, it seems to be a great deal. I don't have one yet, but have it on my Christmas list.
One thing I have heard is if you do get it, go to monoprice.com and purchase some 16 gauge speaker wire.
Another plus is that the receiver allows you to hook up better speakers down the road if you want to, unlike the HTIB from Panasonic or Sony that only work with the packaged speakers.
Does the wire really make a difference???
Will this work? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008VF91/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details
i have about 80ft of that cable sitting in my garage
Yes, the cable makes a difference. As long it is 16 gauge, you are good. If you already have that Monster Cable, that will work. I just wouldn't spend that much on wire, if you don't have to. Monster Cables are really a rip off.
You shouldn't loose any video quality connecting your PS3 via HDMI through the receiver, but like I said, I haven't got the Onkyo yet.