Thank you all for your kind words.
ldgibson76, the HTPC is based on a 780G motherboard, with an integrated ATI 3200HD video card, 4GB Ram, 320GB hard drive, standard DVD drive/burner, Microsoft IR keyboard with integrated mouse, running Vista Home Premium 64-bit. The case is an Antec Fusion Black, with a built-in IR reader.
On the software front, I mostly run iTunes (my only iTunes library is on this PC), Pandora, Netflix Instant Watching, and BeyondTV Link (DVR client). I don't save any videos on this PC; TV shows are stored in another PC, where the BeyondTV server runs.
As far as a 7.1 set up, I hadn't really considered it for this room. I didn't think the acoustics of this room were that great with the open side on the left and the windows and sliding glass door on the right. Do you think I'll notice a big difference between 5.1 and 7.1 in this room? Maybe I should try it.