I have the YHT-397. Aside from a few quirks that are mostly due to my setup, the system itself sounds very nice for the money. I can get the little 8inch 100W sub to shake the windows in the house and get the floor to rumble in our 24'x13" room. Obviously, this isn't a "high end" system, but I think a lot of people would be pleasantly surprised at the audio quality and intensity of the system for the just $300.
Ultimately, it does just boil down to money. If you want to build your own system it might cost a little more money....around another $100 or so and then moving it's way upward from there depending on what you choose, but the YHT-397 has exceeded my expectations of what I thought it would be.