Home theater for a poor college student

I'm trying to put together a home theater system but on a tight budget. I already purchased 5 speakers, all polks, RT5's in front, M3's in the rear and a CS-175 for the center. I know I probably should've bought a better brand, but being a full-time student the price was right (I found most of it for very little money used) and the sound was great for my fairly small room. I'm ready to upgrade my receiver but I'm a little clueless on what to buy. I've been looking at the intro models of HK and Denon, but I'm not sure what would be right for me. If possible I would like to find a used item because my max price is probably $500, but I'm hoping to find something for less. Any suggestions would be great!
I'd suggest a receiver that could decode DTS, if you plan to keep it more than a couple of years...and if you're home theater includes a DVD player that can pass it. If you ever find yourself watching movies alone, I strongly suggest quality headphones like the Sennheiser HD-600's. They sound great with movies, or music, EVEN AN AM/FM WALKMAN!! If you can budget for them sometime, anyway.
Quick follow up to my original posting... I should mention I do have a DD/DTS DVD player also.
Question: did you buy this at Circuit City? Just curious because I know they have a one-year speaker upgrade policy. I'm also assuming that because that's probably the closest big store to Ithaca. My suggestion: trade those M3's in for RT35's. Move the 25's to the rear and get a CS245. You'll hear a world of difference. Also, it's all on sale, since Polk is phasing out the old stuff to make way for the new cabinet's coming out in a couple months, so you'll get a better trade-in. This is all assuming you bought it at Circuit City; they're the only mid-fi warehouse I know that does this. Also get the Onkyo TXDS575 while you're there. It's either $479 or $499 depending whether it's on sale that week or not. Digital, DTS, but no S-video switching, only composite. One optical, one coaxial. And I think the surrounds use - gasp - clips instead of bindings. But overall it's a good piece. Don't ever use the crummy 6-channel input, even if you have it. Use the digital. Or go for the HK AVR100 or 300 ($399 and $599, respectively). That's what I have in my home theater setup - HK. Good sound, not too pricey. Only the AVR 100 doesn't have DTS. Or just forget all this, save your loot and plunk down $1500 for the new AVR7000 (75 amps at 110 watts plus COMPONENT video switching) when it arrives in a month or so. Best of luck with the system; e-mail anytime with home theater questions anytime. Honest advice from a salesperson? Believe it or not. ;) C.J. at Circuit City store #3155, Rochester, NY
Buy online, look for sale, but don;t go to Circuit City! Overpriced, selling basically craps, and ignorant employees (very very few are friendly and knowledgeable!) You've been warned!
That's definitely true about any mass market electronics store...but many high end dealers are clueless too!
Get the Kenwood VR-309 receiver: 500 watts, DTS, S-video switching, lots of inputs, and has gotten great reviews. Retails for $299 at Circuit City, and even less online. I got mine for $234 plus shipping at ubid.com
I would suggest you buy a Marantz SR-5000, absolutely the best sound you can get for your price range, and no "problems" like the HK and Onkyo's sometimes have (ie. hissing) Look local or online at www.Unclestereo.com
Thanks for everyones help. I ended up buying a Denon avr-1800 new, for only $320!
Hello, Think you made the best choice of all with the Denon. Dollar for dollar and quality and sound of receiver it is the best! BlazerBob