Join Date: Feb 2007
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I was in the same boat as you. Depending on if you need a blu-ray/dvd player included with that price tag, I just picked up the Onkyo HT-S3500 for my mom for $268.00 from Amazon:
I also picked her up a Sony blu-ray player for $105.00
Total was $373 shipped. Which actually ended up being next day. (Did the free Amazon Prime Trial for free two day shipping, but both arrived today. Ordered yesterday around 2pm!)
I went back and forth on several of the ~ $300 HTIBs with built-in blu-ray. Namely Panasonic and Samsung. I just know that I spent a little more and got better components, that will provide an upgrade path, should that need ever arise. The reason I got these for her in the first place, is that her LG HTIB with built-in player stopped reading discs, instead of just getting a stand alone blu-ray player, she wanted to get another HTIB but I convinced her separate components were the way to go. Hope that helps!