how many channels?

I'm just starting to look at upgrading from a pretty good receiver to seperates. Since I have other expensive hobbies besides audio and video, I plan this use the same componets for music and home theater.

I have a Yamaha RXV-995 receiver I plan to use as a pre-amp. I've been looking at Parasound 5 channel and 3 channel amps.

The question is how many channels should I look for? Is 5 channels needed or should I look for a higher quality 3 channel?
I would say you are definitely going to want five channels for H/T. You could start out with three, then add a stereo amp into the system later. That is the way I have my system configured with excellent results.
You will need five channels plus an amplified subwoofer for 5.1 (DD or DTS). If the 995 has separate pre and amp outs for each channel, you could use a 3 channel amp and use the Yammie for the rears, but the wiring gets pretty hairy with some much hardware and your interconnect costs go up, too. I would think a 5 channel amp is the best way to go, unless you have some amplification sitting around.
2 channels

a two channel set up blows away any 5 channel setup
except in the case of a few action movies

save the money, get better sound

The first time I heard SS I was hooked.--15+, years ago;and that was before Dolby Pro Logic.Back then for 'over the cable SS' you put a splitter on your lead; One to the box or tv; one to your FM tuner. Then station 101.1, equalled the audio for ,say, MTV. They gave you a 'cheat sheet'.If you're not impressed with what you may have heard / that's ok DSFDF.(dif. Strokes) 3 channel would be a waste.Unless you've never heard 5.1--you sound like somebody who'll soon sell what ever they buy. If you have; your hooked/ or not! Properly set up 2 ch. will image well enough.So don't consider 3 ch.The more you're into this; the more speakers--(7.1 is nicer) Not sure why some guys respond with such negatitivy.against. -- Just because SS aint for them. In todays "theater" 5.1. or just the 5.0 / The sub can come latter. When I'm in a high end salon; most of the time the bass from their system overwhelms me. We got a guy here with 4 subs; but that's for another thread.
I read the responses above already, Avguygeorge, I had to read your a few times to figure out exactly what you were saying.

So it seems that a few recommend 5-channel amps and two recommend a 2-channel. I guess it comes down to this. Will channels not going through the amp match channels being amplified? If not, then I would think atleast a 3-channel would be needed (left, right and center)... if not a 5-channel. If the sound would match however, I could get more bang for buck with a 2 or 3 channel amp.

Still a little confused.
You did not state what your budget is or what your priority is (Music or HT). If you go five channels and spread the $ out (Both speakers and amps) the quality of components is going down fast. And the type of sound that HT is meant to create is just different than music. They call it surround "sound" for a reason. If music is most importatnt go 2 and if you are a movie maniac and want to feel like your head is up Tom Cruise's jet's **** then go surround sound.
C Klomparens