I didn't read that all the way through, but there are several things there that are issues I've never run into. Maybe it's because I haven't needed to shop for speakers in quite a while. If I was going to make a list like this, it would be very different. Off the top of my head my list would be something like...
The room is as important as the equipment. Maybe more so. The room is PART of the sound. It isn't necessarily an error to be eliminated.
Placement of furniture and speakers is vital. If you compromise that too much, your system will never sound good.
The flatter your response, the better your system will sound. All music sounds best with a flat response. The only time you should need to adjust your tone controls is for badly engineered recordings.
How speakers sound out of the box is less important than how they can be made to sound through signal processing. Speakers with latitude to adjust without clipping will sound better than ones that sound good, but don't react well to being pushed.
All that matters with an amp is power and features. Midrange amps, properly calibrated sound as good as high end amps. Spend your money on your speakers, not your electronics.
Multichannel speaker setups are a huge improvement over 2 channel, but they are a lot more work to calibrate and set up. It takes patience, study and analytical listening over a period of months to accomplish.
DSPs are your friend... they can solve a lot of off axis problems in surround systems. Stereo sounds BETTER in 5:1 with the proper DSP.
The center channel speaker is more important than you think. Don't cheap out on that. If you have to cut corners somewhere, get cheaper rear speakers.
Frequency extension in the outer octaves of human hearing isn't as important as proper balance in the core frequencies.
Distortion is rarely a problem.
It's easier to get old style full range box speakers with 10 or 12 inch woofers to sound good than speakers with lots of little drivers.
Most stereo salesmen, even ones in high end boutique shops, are clueless when it comes to speaker systems. Most of them use headphones at home themselves.
Wives and neighbors are best avoided if you want the best sound with speakers.
Edited by bigshot - 3/27/14 at 4:50pm