@bf1 - I saw this the other day and it looks like it was made specifically for you: http://www.accessories4less.com/make...hnology/1.html
You're going to have a heck of a time getting wireless speakers into the bedroom and another set in the basement. It would add quite a bit to the cost and might not work very well. This thing is set up with all the speakers you'd need for extra rooms, allbeit, clock radio quality speakers. But it comes with 5 clients so you could add them to extra rooms, scatter them around the house, and/or put a few in the same room for some kind of effect without running any extra wires except a power cord. For less than $500 you're set - the receiver looks sturdy and has some good heft at 30lbs and you'd be capitalizing on an idea that doesn't seem like it ever took-off for the price they originally wanted ($1300 MSRP with only 1 client).
I have no idea how well audio over power lines would sound or how well this works, it seems unconventional but it's probably a better solution than wireless. It works by sending the audio signal through the power lines and decoding it at the other end with the client. I'm sure there are some limitations but check it out and see if they'd be significant to you. It seems like the main limitation is that it only sends analog signals to the clients - if you connect a DVD player with the digital out for example, you'd also need to connect the analog out if you wanted to hear it in another room with a client. The receiver has 4 digital inputs, pre-outs for an external amp if you ever needed more power, and analog inputs you could use if you got a blu-ray player (make sure you get a player with analog outs). The only thing it doesn't have is HDMI but who cares, it looks like it solves your other requirements so well. It looks pretty good for a receiver but a generation behind in functionality; it lacks HDMI and new audio codecs but I don't think that's too big of a deal as a lot of that is unnecessary hype anyway.
The only other thing you'd need is a pair of speakers for the main room but shouldn't be a problem with $200. It's more difficult because there's a lot of individual taste and you should really hear before you buy. Check out some of the KEF IQ speakers at accessories4less, those are on clearance and are good value. I recently heard some Wharfedale speakers and they sounded nice, are designed well, and the price is excellent from Sound and Vision for the Diamond 9.1
and Diamond 9.2
. If you're not crazy about the Marantz idea, accessories4less is at least a good resource for refurbished as they're authorized and products will come with some sort of warranty.
Product page: http://us.marantz.com/Products/1545.asp#
If you're just going to hook up a 22" TV why bother with Blu-ray? A regular DVD player woul do fine. Maybe consider a BD player if you get a bigger LCD or plasma and then you can sometimes find a special deal that includes a BD player along with the TV. My suggestion would be to get a matching Marantz DVD player from the same dealer to save on shipping, it looks good with the receiver, and may be better integrated with the client units (you may be better able to control it as a CD player from the client in another room - but I don't know): http://www.accessories4less.com/make...n-Sale-/1.html
If you can do without support for the exta rooms you can get a cheaper receiver and spend more on some quality speakers. Keep in mind that I've never heard this Marantz thing or played with the audio over power lines and I'm just recomending based on something I saw online, but it just looks like a cool gadget for the right person. Another plus I forgot to mention is that it comes with a learning remote. Here are some pictures of the Marantz and the client in the wild:
...and, since I've already gotten carried away, some pix using it in different ways: