Now, for the more difficult decision...speakers. My room is technically 20x16 ft but is open to the kitchen, so structurally it's bigger. The ceiling is vaulted, with heights from 12-18 ft.
My wife does not want big, floor standing speakers, so this has led me to looking at compact 5.1 systems such as the Definitive Tech ProCinema 600/800, or the Klipsch Quintet series. This is where I need help...I am certainly not an audio expert, but this is likely a purchase I wont make again for a long time. Are these "put together systems" too meek for my room, could I do better by putting together my own setup with more powerful speakers (bookshelf)? This site is vastly informative, and I've seen an affinity for other brands such as Infinity Primus series and Ascend Acoustics 170/340 bookshelf. I appreciate quality but am ignorant to the whole audio world. My budget for the 5.1 speaker system is roughly 1,200.