Here's the evolution from when I was 13.
It started with my dad's Sony 52" rear projection tv with s-video inputs, my Sony HTIB with Dolby Prologic (no DD yet), and Sony VCR. That got upgraded to a RCA dvd/divx player.
Then when I got to college, I purchased a RCA HTIB with larger satellites and DD/DTS (ran the Sony sub + RCA for dual subwoofers), a JVC dvd player, and a JVC 27" tv with component video inputs! I rented a 4 bedroom apartment with 3 friends who weren't into home theater at all, but after watching the first movie on dvd with surround sound on my system, they were hooked. We watched a LOT of movies on this system.
I got my first job out of college in St. Louis and the first big upgrade was building the Avalanche 18 LLT sonosub #1
powered by a Carvin HD1800. Then I upgraded to a Panasonic DVD-S77 disc player and Yamaha HTR-5890 receiver. I had an apartment that was near a Family Video and I used to rent so many movies to put this system through its paces.
Next came the Boston VR3 L&R, Boston VR1 center, and Ascend Acoustics 340 surrounds. The RCA satellites got moved to rear surround duty. Looking back, this system seems so cheesy with the big speakers and sub with a 27" tube tv in a wooden entertainment center, but I loved it soooo much.
Then I upgraded the image with the first true 1080p 42" LCD, a Westinghouse 42W2 - it could accept 1080p over component, DVI, and hdmi - unheard of at the time!
A promotion/new job took me to southern Indiana and I built Avalanche 18 LLT sonosub #2
with another Carvin HD1800 and upgraded the image again to a Samsung 52" B750. I also got more Boston VR1s as surrounds. I had been in a few theater rooms when I was in St. Louis at get togethers, but I never loved the image from a projector at that time, and LCDs weren't being made much bigger than 52" at this time, so I thought I had things the best I could get them
Fast forward a few years and I upgraded to an Onkyo TX-NR3010 receiver and a Samsung 75" F8000 LCD. I put the Ascend 340s as my wide channels and got Boston A25s as the rear surrounds.
Another promotion/new job took me to northern Indiana and I bought my first home. The 75" tv is in the living room, and the speakers were up until now. This theater is the continuation on that story.