Best way to go HT with focus on 2 channel

I am looking to build my first home theater system, which will have double duty with my 2 channel rig. I really want the focus of quality to be on 2 channel, but want to set up a modest HT rig with 5.1 sound and a plasma. I have a tube pre and amp today and would prefer to keep them in the chain, or move to a tube integrated, maybe a VAC Avatar.

Since I'm new to the HT world, I'm not sure the best way to integrate a AV processor and what exactly I'll need. A little advice from you goners would be a big help. Thanks!
I thought for the longest time to do two systems was the best idea ... no compromises. With my heart fully ensconsed in two channel but desiring a multichannel system, the process began. having accomplished obtaining both, I'm no longer desirous of committing the funds necessary to having both systems... with equal levels of quality... So I personally think compromise seems the way to go, unless of course copius amounts of money are avaiable.

what I've finally decided to do is add a three ch. amp, the same brand center speaker, likewise rear speakers perhaps. (rear speakers are no where near as important in terms of matching as the center is... trust me here...), and of course a full range sub.

If I didn't have the gear I already do and wwere out to go from the jump... I'd agree with the earlier posts... simply add a HT Receiver and the appropriate center and rear spkrs... and a dynamic sub... and not a great amount of money needs be spent to do that either... you'll gain the experience of the surround listening factor, and the grins too. What level of 'experience' you want will determine the money you[ll spend...

So far as I'm concerned, a good two channel set up and a sub are fine for movies.... and in HT the 'BIG DEAL' truly is the screen... spend all you want on sound... but without that big old screen up there to get the true impact of the "theater" you are selling yourself short.

The screen is the ticket. No one goes to listen to a movie.. right? ..for myself this works... Spend the money on improving the two ch. sys. get as big a screen as you can... do the other three ch comfortably.... and don't worry about the overuse of the tubes.... just how long is a movie anyway these days...? Good luck...
The best way to do a music first home theater is to use an anologue 5.1 preamp without any processing. They are the Macintosh, MacCormack Map-1, and Audio Refinement Pre-5. These are high quality 2 channel preamps with 5.1 channel pass through that uses the volume control to control the master volume.

To make this system works you will use a high quality DVD source or universal player that has 5.1 anologue outputs with internal processing (dolby digital, DTS, etc). You will NOT use the digital outputs of your source. The source also has to have bass management (most do) to control the output gain to your speakers in the menu so that you can balance al your speakers. Use a radio shack SPL meter to balance your speakers.

You can then use your tube power amp for your L+R channel and a high quality 3 channel amp for your C+RR+LR. The truth is you can skip your center channel and use full tube for your rears as well if your front speakers image well with a good soundstage. You will go into your sources menu and turn off the center channel. When it processes the multi channel music or movie it will send the center channel info to your L+R channels.

You can have your cake and eat it too.
I personally agree about the movies, and that's that the picture is first priority for the experience. Still, as an adiophile first, quality of sound has to be there, but it's second for the experience.
I would still rather have quality over quantity, and don't care about sitting between two speakers anymore. I'd rather "share" the experience with other seats in the house. That said, the multichannel system is the best regardless for me personally. Getting 5/6 or more speakers tuned in harmony of high quality sound is just fine by me...I don't need a two channel "sit in the middle" set up anymore. I'm over people to let in the house now...bye