Please be patient with us and our slow response. Sometimes the people who answer most of the "what should I get for $____" threads aren't on everyday.
Your search should be easier than most as you will not be listening to music on your setup. this really allows you to "get away with" small speakers and a sub.
As you said you are looking for the best bang for the buck and not nessicarily ease of shopping or assembly. I would become a speaker hunter. Crawl craigslist, forum classifieds and the like to find an older 5.0 set that is a little used but still performs sonically strong. then get a BIC sub for around 200 and thump away
Before I would do that I would go to best buy or another large electronics store and try out a few speaker brands. This will give you a general direction to move in, such as do you like a horn loaded tweeter (klipsch, I don't personally so I know not to look for klipsch gear), Many people like this setup especially for HT.
For a receiver, I would go in the $200 range and make sure it comes with room correction, and a subwoofer preout (LFE). Onkyo Pioneer Denon, or a used one again. I saw a 23xx series Denon with HDMI for just over 200 buy it now a while back. That's a lot of receiver for that money.