Penny-pincher? (Raises hand).
I voted $1k-5k.
This is a converted spare room/bedroom, ~ 13'x 14'.
What I didn't count:
- Construction Labor. Did all wiring, drywall, floor treatment, built-in bookcases myself. My wife made the curtains.
- Receiver. Had it already, a 5.1 pre-HDMI receiver, but adequate.
- Speakers, 2 pair, Sony SSU-2000 largish floor speakers on low stands to put them at ear lever. Already owned, getting a little old now, but none the worse for that.
- Hauppauge HD-PVR, HDMI splitter/HDCP stripper, HDMI -> Component converter. For captures. Already owned.
- Two comfortable chairs, love seat, coffee table and corner table. Table lamp in corner and floor lamp.
What I did count:
- 70" Sharp LED/LCD, reduced price floor display, cost ~ $1,400.
- Center speaker and subwoofer, both Polks, about $200.
- Construction materials, including hardwood flooring, less than $1,000 all up. Includes a large "Persian" rug that covers most of the floor. (I like the room lively for Classical music).
- HTPC, 8-core, built myself, some of the parts re-used. With BR-ROM and BD-RE. 8 TB internal hard drive capacity, plus 14 TB in externals. ~ $1,000 bucks.
- Roku 2 XS, refurbished. $60 bucks.
Not as good as what many (most?) of you have. But I defy you to do it more cheaply and still have something reasonably good.