Early this year I did some work for an architect and just yesterday I received an e-mail from him in which he wrote how much money he owes me for the work. It turned out to be 600, which was more than I anticipated. That, of course, was a very welcome surprise. He wants to pay me in goods, though, and now I've decided to spend the money on a nice Dolby Surround system. The main question now is, should I go for a bottomline Yamaha or harman/kardon system or for a midrange Sony system? Also, do most systems have good stereo sound? My parents have quite a crappy Akai dvd-system (all-in-one design) and it's stereo sound is horrible, although in Dolby Surround-mode (when watching dvd's) the sound is quite okay. I've done some searching on the internet and found some good deals. See below. 1. Yamaha receiver and dvd-player with Yamaha 5.1 speakers This set consists of all Yamaha components. It's a good brand, I believe, but have no experience with it. Also, I have no friends who ever bought any Yamaha systems, so I have no secondhand experience either. The receiver is the Yamaha RX-V450 6.1 receiver with 6x85W power. The dvd-player is the Yamaha DVD-S550. The speaker system is the rather simple Yamaha NS-P240 5.1 set. Too bad that with the 6.1 receiver it only comes with a 5.1 speaker system, or is 5.1 okay enough? Does anybody here have any experience with Yamaha living room hi-fi stuff? 2. harman/kardon receiver and dvd-player with Pioneer 5.1 speakers This set consists of the harman/kardon AVR 130 5.1 receiver with 5x45W power, the harman kardon DVD 22 dvd-player and the Pioneer S-V50-II 5.1 speaker system. The harman/kardon stuff looks good, but I have my doubts with the Pioneer gear. Is the brand known for making good speakers? I've never seen or heard any Pioneer speakers at all, so I don't know. 3. Sony 5.1 home cinema system with dvd-burner My third choice is the Sony HTR-6100 system. Main advantage over the other two options is, of course, the dvd-burner. I have one in my iMac though, but I can't get a video-signal into the Mac. What are your opinions? The three systems all cost around 600, so they all seem to be good value for the money and I'd really like to read all your thoughts about them. Thanks in advance!