Thanks for the responses.
Panny is in the main setup (using optical and hdmi) - the Samsung is the TV in point here, and yes since it has headphone/RCA, I now realize I don't need a remote. For this setup, I'll just have two sources - OTA TV and my Xbox (Netflix, Media Center Extender). So I'll just be needing to run the audio out from my TV to something.
My first plan was actually to buy a receiver and speakers of some sort as some of you are suggesting, but either way I looked at it it was going to be more than around $200, and a lot of that would still be somewhat of a throw away, at least the receiver cost (unless I wait on craigslist and ebay for who knows how long).
As I mentioned, I would be nice to keep it clean and simple, especially since my girlfriend will be using it the most, and its where friends are when they are over. That soundbar mentioned earlier is $55 refurbed on newegg and appears to have good reviews around the web, but I'll have to go to a store and see what soundbars sound like first. My TV stand has a shelf right below the TV (where my center used to bed) so my soundbar could go there, but I'm not sure if that will hurt the sound in that place.
I'm tempted to just grab some logitech computer speakers I have now and see how it sounds haha, like I said, this doesn't need to be audiophile quality, just something to listen to the news, watch shows like the simpsons, and background tv/movie use while also doing something else.