In my short research and development project I've realized the goal is to work with what I have (I'm allowed a dedicated room, pitch black, etc). I started with a 10k budget, but my BASE room is built already.
Sure I could have opened up the ceiling and double sheet-rocked, clipped, green glued, made side walls symmetrical, etc.... but that wasn't the route I wanted to go.
I did wall off the windows....
I have a bit of 'the best option' as in I can do whatever in my room (wife is cool whatever).
With that said I find myself in the middle of what I see on this forum.
I see rooms dominated by kids and wives, or other limiting factors a side form money.
Then I see room to the extreme. Built from the ground up to look and perform like a theater. Or gutted from to the studs for a fresh build.
I consider myself just below middle. I've spent a considerable amount on room treatments and seeking room advice. I've made a few room modifications that the typical 'throw it up' theater guy would not do, but I've also made some of those same 'throw it up guy' decisions for my room.
As someone mentioned above. When it's all said and done you're sitting in an almost pitch black room anyways. SO..... if I can make my room sound audio and projected image as for 10k (ok I'm approaching the 12k mark quickly, might have passed it today) sounds and looks the same in the dark as the guy who spent my entire budget on the front real cherry wood front wall I'm happy.
FWIW I spent ~2500 on speakers, ~2500 on subs, ~2500 on gear (got the smokin' Costco deal on the Pioneer SC 1522) and 2300 on theater chairs, 350 on 36 sheets of OC 70, and God knows all the little things that are now adding up.
I went cheap on the projector because that's an easy upgrade in the future. I went with JBL Pro speakers because the value was huge. Did I say HUGE?
For the room itself there won't be much spent. I already had a sheet rocked basement that is half above grade.
To me it's all about the sound and the picture. I can nail both of those to my desire in my space.
Now, a few years ago I would have had to have had all the aesthetics. But not today. What's not touched in aesthetics is money in the bank. And I have money, but not THAT much money. : )