I'm in a similar situation to that of the OP. I'm adding surround to my first floor tv room, which has a 52" LCD above the fireplace, and has one large opening to the adjoining room on the right wall perpendicular to the tv, and an irregular stairwell opening on the wall opposite the tv.
There are in-wall surround speakers already, and I've got 3 sets of speaker wires coming out of the wall behind the tv, along with an HDMI cable. I can't run (without unacceptable expense) any more wires from my components to the tv, so a powered soundbar is not an option.
I mostly watch tv (predominately sports), with the occasional blu-ray. I don't really listen to music. So, top-of-the line speakers are probably excessive for me. In addition to the soundbars noted above, I also know about the Canton CD 90 SB ($650 msrp). Does anyone know if this is a good speaker?
I'm surprised at how hard it is to find 3-channel surround bars for under $1000. Does anyone know of any others?
Given the difficulty I'm having finding a 3-channel bar appropriate for my needs, I'm also considering the Polk Surroundbar 50 and the Def Tech SSA-50 (which can be had for under $1000). I would feel a little foolish buying a 5-channel bar and only using 3 of the channels, but it's possible I could use a 5-channel bar in the future, and if a 5-channel gives good sound and is cheaper than a 3-channel, that may be the way to go for me.
I'd be interested in people's thoughts on using 3 channels on a 5-channel bar instead of a 3-channel bar (and also recommendations for any other brands/models of unpowered soundbars).