AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Northern Colorado
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Personally, I can't stand Polk or Klipsch speakers. Something about their high frequency sound is unappealing and fatiguing. Check out Arx, Ascend Acoustics, Aperion Audio, HSU and other Internet Direct brands. HSU, SVS, Rhythmik, Outlaw Audio all have good ID subs too. Since you have a fairly large room, I'd go with two subs to smooth out the room response and increase the bass output to fill that space.
Ascend Acoustics has a decent sale going on right now (click on the sale link on their main page). CMT-340's would work great in that room considering your budget. Right now, you get the stands free, if you need them. I'd rather stand mount large monitors rather than build shelves for them and have them too high on the wall and too close due to their rear ports. You'll miss out on some bass frequency reproduction too.
You really want to get a Blu-ray player and hook things up using HDMI cable and don't just rely on your laptop.
Newegg.com has been running a sale on the Pioneer SC-1222-k receiver at a substantial discount. But if you increase your budget a bit ($1,500 for 7.1 and a receiver is pretty tight) and have a Costco in the area, see if you can pick up the Pioneer SC-1522-k for $600. For what it can do, it's a downright steal at that price. Both have pre-amp outputs for adding more powerful amplifiers to drive your speakers. In a larger room, this is a big plus.
Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!