If I were starting out building my home theater from scratch today, then this is what I would do:
(01). I would buy my speaker package first. And that means I would buy my speaker package this year. Concentrating solely on the speakers allow me the opportunity to invest in quality instead of just sticking to a price point. Investing in quality now will do nothing but pay off BIG dividends next year when I am finally ready to buy a receiver.
(02). I would buy my receiver next year. Again, doing the "one component at a time" approach allows me the opportunity to invest in quality. So, instead of getting a $500.00 receiver next year, then why not go ahead and get one the costs about $1,000.00. That way, you will end up with a receiver that's going to get the optimum performance out of the speakers that you're going to select this year. That would be what I would do.
But now, if I wanted to do everything all at one time, then this what I would start out with:
Speaker Package: Polk Audio -- About $500.00.
Audio/Video Receiver: Harman/Kardon AVR-225 -- About $500.00.
Television/Monitor: Panasonic CT-27SX12 -- About $600.00.
DVD Player: Toshiba SD-2800 -- About $130.00.
As you can see, you can put together a whole home theater system for less than $2,000.00 (something that I thought was impossible even over a year ago), and then when the upgrade bug finally hits you, you can always upgrade a piece at a time later on when your budget allows.
Regards and Good Luck.........