I happen to own a Lifestyle 35 system. Yes, it is expensive... yes, its not for everyone or every situation. It fit my needs when I bought it.
The system works great for movies/tv/hdtv/etc.. Works well for most music, but if you are a hard core metal head, or lots of crunchy grunge - not so good.
Couple issues I have with the system currently
- lack of low-mid range in the center channel. Since it uses 5 of the same cube speakers, and is crossed-over in the sub, you can change anything or add different speakers. I've bumped up the compensation on the center, and that helped, but there is still a bit missing.
- lack of video inputs. if you need more inputs you're hosed. only has 1 input, and it has to be used in the same format as your output.
- no progressive scan DVD.
- DTS decoding, only will do DTS on DVDs played internally - not external sources. - minor
- limited to 4 audio inputs (only 1 optical) - minor
Besides those issues, I've had a great experience with it. In an age of super crappy customer service, they are outstanding! I bought mine before the AdaptIQ feature was added - they sent it to me free of charge. The send me regular firmware updates (2 or 3 in the last couple years). I've gotten 3 5.1 music DVD's from them showcasing some cool 5.1 recordings. When I did have a problem with my media unit, they shipped a new one out before I returned the current one.
It still amazes me how much sound they get out of those little speakers - even with some of the holes in coverage (very low, low mids) it sounds awesome when watching movies. The THX theme is very cool
I recommend it if you are willing to spend that much money. There are similar solutions that are cheaper - but you'd be hard pressed to find one as small, and with as good of customer service.