I currently have a crap(TM) system that is both music and HT. Since I have limited funds (recently engaged) I'm wanting to selectively purchase components that I can build around for the future. If/when the boss approves the budget, I'll purchase perhaps a couple pieces this year and hopefully repeat it again for the next several years until either my fiance/future wife divorces me, leaving me penniless -or- I've acquired all the great components of my system and have thus reached AV enlightenment.
I already have a Mits 65" HDTV, so the tv's not an issue. In the current house, I'm only able to setup L-C-R and subwoofer -- I have the speakers, but no space to set up the surrounds.
Okay, now option 1 is to purchase an AV preamp like the Rotel 1066 and the Odyssey HT 3 to drive the L-C-R and sub. In the future, migrate the HT 3 to drive the center/surrounds and get two reference monoblocks to drive the left/right. The question about this option is whether I will have buyer's regret for getting the HT 3 instead of monoblocks everywhere.
Option 2 is to purchase an AV receiver like the Rotel 1055, have it drive the center channel and get two reference Monoblocks to drive L-R. In the future purchase additional monoblocks to drive center/surrounds. Will the receiver be equivalent to a decent preamp or will I be thinking to replace it with a dedicated preamp in the future?
Option 3 is to purchase an AV preamp, say Rotel 1066, and get two reference Monoblocks to drive L-R. In the future purchase additional monoblocks to drive center/surrounds. This option leaves me without multichannel HT for possibly a year, am I missing out?
Ideally I would love to have separate components - ie. preamp fronting reference monoblocks. But my dilemma is whether I will be giving up too much in the HT area. What would you do in my shoes?