Trying to recommend a home theater system to a friend. Budget is $500. So far I have pointed out HTIB setups from Panasonic and LG for under $350. For 5.1 not much can be done beyond that. There is a Denon system (Denon DHT-391XP) and a Yamaha system (Yamaha YHT-393BL) at Amazon.com that look really good for about the same price but without the blu-ray player. I think he has a PS3 anyway, so doesn't matter. Other than that, I am trying to recommend other options to get better sound on the same budget.
One idea was to use studio monitors and go 2-channel. KRK has Rokit 5 monitors that can be found for $200/pair. Mackie has the MR5s for the same. But then I have to find a receiver/pre-pro with at least L/R pre-outs. Is that feasible? What about connecting the source directly to the active speakers?
Anyway, just looking for opinions about recommending the studio monitors for someone looking for a good movie setup. It doesn't seem like you can get speakers as good for the same price in the passive realm, or anything comparable in 5.1. Thoughts?