I don't see the need to spend $800 on speakers. It just won't be worth it in my eyes. What ever you decide to do with the money you've saved is up to you. The sound quality is just fine using the HDMI out on my laptop. The receiver is the DAC when you do this, so no need to buy a separate DAC if you hook up via HDMI. Make sure though that your laptop outputs audio through the HDMI port and not just video.