from my experience:
While I totally agree that Jim's speakers are finished beautifully, I believe MOST systems are a poke in the eye because of the hodgepodge cluster-hump of componentry that is arranged on a wood plank and cinderblock stand. With an Xbox spilling out and a cable modem balanced on top of Assassins Creed.
Take some care and budget for a very nice cabinet for your equipment. Having doors and drawers can really lighten the visual weight of an audio system. Attend to messy cabling. Minimize the number of colors and finishes. Adding "feminine" items on or around your system is a cheat that's not likely to help. (I'm talking plants and figurines and picture frames. Not tampons.) And for the sake of sound quality, pave the way early for good speaker placement. Don't let the spousal unit expect to have speakers jammed against the wall. Or that speakers may be moved around all the time. It should be part of the deal to allow the speakers to occupy a little space in front of the wall. Finally, where I have failed, is to get a single remote control that makes using the system simple and teach the older people in the house how to use it. If they can't use it or don't understand it, they will likely resent it's presence. Maybe they don't need to know how to switch sample-rates on your outboard DAC, but they should (perhaps) be able to start up Pandora and listen to something they like.
Oh! What I was never able to articulate to my first wife is that my audio system was different than an appliance -- where you would simply research, shop and choose one and use it until it dies. For many/most of us, it's a hobby or interest that keeps our systems evolving. Things are changed or added and it's not because something was so "wrong" with what we had. The journey is the thing. Wife 2.0 understands this. Or, at least she expects it. Don't assume they know your psychology wrt audio.