Here's the long story
Thanks for all the advice so far. My plan is to gradually build up a respectable music / home theatre system over the next few years. I want to avoid getting stuff that I will throw away in the long run (ie. wasted $$$), but they also have to be purchased incrementally (no more than $2500 CDN per increment).
For speakers, I've settled on Paradigm's Studio series speakers because they are good quality speakers that are affordable (under $2000 CDN per pair). Being a Canadian company also helps with price (no exchange rate or international shipping). First goal would be Studio/40 (Front which I already have), Studio/20 (Rear), Studio/CC and a Servo-15 sub. I really wish Paradigm still made their Active series speakers
From what I hear, they are *extremely* good and can give $10000+ speakers a good run for their money. But alas, I'll just have to live with what I can buy. Hopefully, this will last me through the appartment stage of my life.
As for the Denon, I bought it mainly out of necessity. Not much sense having speakers with nothing to hook them up to
. Source equipment evolves just about as fast as computers do, so I know the Denon will eventually have to go, but it will be the last component to change and hopefully the only one that's thrown out.
As for amplifiers, I'm looking at Bryston. Again, respectable, affordable and local. Not to mention their 20 year warranty doesn't hurt. Their PowerPac 120 monoblocks look very attractive. I can use them to make a poor man's active speaker, or place them wherever I want. But most importantly, at $2500 CDN a pair, I can buy them incrementally.
We now come to why I'm asking about the speaker wire vs. IC advice. It's about 30 feet around the room to each rear speaker. When I get the Studio/20's, I'll have three options:
1) 120 feet of good speaker wire (for bi-wiring)
2) 60 feet of heavily shielded unbalanced IC (do such exist?) to the Brystons
3) 60 feet of balanced IC with an RCA -> truly balanced XLR converter (do they exist and are they any good?) to the Brystons
4) Find some way to run a digital siganl all the way to the speakers (a la Meridian DSP5x00 speakers) without the $40000 USD price tag (yeah yeah, this is a pipe dream
Which of the above four choices would give me the highest quality sound (ie. smallest loss in fidelity) at a reasonable price?
If I go with XLR, are there surround processors that could drive balanced IC's for that distance?
Also, what do you think of the overall plan? Any suggestions for improving it?