I've done surround in my home both ways: Putting together components and just using Bose. I had a Yamaha RX-V2200 surround processor/amplifier which provided 100 watts to all channels, including the rears, and had a very nice DTS decoder. I had big speakers in front and a Velodyne powered subwoofer. I had a huge rats-nest of expensive wires behind the components and found that attempts to organize them were short-lived; the rats-nest always returned. All this went bye-bye when I added a new wall unit to go with a new 3D TV, and as part of the deal, the wife didn't want to see any wires or speakers anywhere! We went with the Bose Cinemate GS II 2.1 system. You can't hardly see it and while it doesn't quite provide real surround sound like my old 5.1 system it certainly has a terrific, cinematic sound quality. So my wife and I are both satisfied. The fact is, Bose is the one and only choice in this kind of form factor. If you buy other systems you'll spend less but you'll have wires and ugly looking stuff around that your wife won't be happy about and likely won't get better sound anyway. Before Bose I tried Onkyo and Samsung for 2.1 sound and they both went back to the store. They didn't match the Bose for looks or sound. I did spend 2 or even 3 times as much, but wound up very pleased. I now have need for a second system, and I may go for the Bose Lifestyle V35 this time, so that I can get the DTS decoding back again, and I'll add the SL2 wireless module so that I won't need to run wires to the rears. But I may just get another Cinemate system. It's a lot cheaper than the V35 and really provides close to a movie theater experience.
I have long felt that the Bose-haters bring little but irrationality into these discussions. Guys, I've been chasing good sound for 25-30 years and can tell good sound from mediocre or bad. Well, Bose sound is plenty good, whether it is 5.1 or 2.1. Check eBay and you'll see the demand for, and even the resale value of these Lifestyle systems. I heard a demo of their Wave TV system, where all the speakers are in the TV, including the subwoofer and thought it was the best surround sound I ever heard anywhere, at any price. Pretty amazing, and no wonder it took 10 years of development. So don't let them talk you away from Bose if you have the money for it; No other company's product line can currently match Bose for the combination of very good sound, the oh-so-important form factor and the ease of connectivity.