interconnect vs speaker cable

Everything being equal, and I use that term loosely, of course; which one, interconnect or cable, gives you the most sound for the dollar? How about this way? Again, things being equal, which would you upgrade first, or better yet, if you could only upgrade one, due to $ (and you couldn't make the other upgrade for a long while), which would it be? I know, I know, there are loads of other factors, but just let's pretend there aren't any, or, again, everything's equal. There's that ubiquitous "equal" again. Thanks in advance.
Start with the interconnect. The signal path starts there.
Buy the most expensive cable you can afford, after a lengthy trial period of sampleing different brands and levels of those brands. I love Cardas, but not all their cables deliver the same benefits. Other considerations, assuming your tastes are as mine and that is I like a very analytical and detailed sound. I am not a "warm/mushy" listener. That said, try Harmonic Technology, Analysis Plus, come to mind as alternatives for a neutral non-colored sound.
I would upgrade whichever I perceived to be the weekest link first. Aside from that, meaning 'all things being equal', I'd go for the interconnects first for several reasons:

1. Because of the low voltage being passed thru the ic's, they are performing a greater role when dealing with sensitivity. One little design flaw, impedance matching, veiling, constriction, glare, etc., here can go a long way. Assuming the replacement ic is 'better', I believe the ability to hear the sonic differences is potentially greater unless the speaker cable is inferior enough where they prevent you from hearing any improvements.

2. I have a feeling that because of the potential bottlenecking in the ic area due to low voltage sensitivity, etc, it is entirely possible and likely more probably to replace a speaker cable with a clearly superior cable, yet not hear any sonic improvements worth noting because of the restrictions in the inferior interconnect. And I suppose this argument can be used the other way around.

Of course I could be wrong on both counts above.

The sad thing about this hobby is that "the most expensive (fill in the blank for any component here) that you can afford" is not always the best sounding product available to you. More often then not I've found that "more expensive is better" is rarely true, and the law of diminishing returns is a carnal law. In my own system I've cut the MSRP value almost in half on most pieces whilst dramatically IMPROVING the sound through experimentation with well reviewed cheaper components! Lots of hype in this hobby, lots of ego, only thing to go by ultimately is your own ears, which means you must try different things on your own at home.

That said, biggest change I've heard is with interconnects. But in talking any cables the sound changes very minimally, relatively speaking say a few percentage points worth, and how people write multiple pages or even a full page review of a cable boggles my mind.
To answer the question directly, everything else being equal, I believe it is much harder to get an adequate speaker cable than it is to get an adequate interconnect. So I would not skimp on the speaker cable, I would skimp on the interconnect. This is just based on experience, no science.
The biggest priority when shopping should be to maximize the quality of the pieces closest to the source. Great speaker cable will not be able to add what your interconnect did not deliver. That is why your source equipment is always more important than your speakers (all things being equal:). See my reviews of Purist ICs if you are interested in more of this type of conversation.
Look at it this way:

1. Everything between source and speaker distorts the signal in some way.
2. No cable can return a distortion to its original state.
3. The closest thing to your source is the first to distort.

Since the speaker cable cannot correct whatever your interconnect flux up, the IC would take priority IMO.

All things being = , of course...
Thanks for the feedback guys. Interconnect it is. It's ordered already.
Much as I agree in general with the conclusions of Nrchy and Gs5556 with respect to components, I suggest they actually try combinations of IC and Speaker Cables and see what they experience.

I have certainly found the theory of biasing expenditure towards the source to be very sound, but that the idea does not apply so well to cables.

I do not buy for a minute the mantra of "which comes first, is the most important", and claiming it to have an unassailable logic is simply incorrect.

While you might claim no speaker cable can right the wrongs of the interconnect, it seems equally likely to me that no interconnect can be so good that a poor speaker cable that follows it will sound anything better than a poor speaker cable.

If good means "quality in, quality out", and bad means "quality in, garbage out", then a bad IC followed by good speaker cable results in "quality in, garbage out", and a good IC followed by bad speaker cable also results in "quality in, garbage out". Such simple binary logic fails to lead to any conclusion. Therefore the issue is resolved by examining incremental benefit for incremental dollars spent - the answers for each being a curve not a straight line, meaning the answer may change as the dollars spent goes up.

Therefore logic gets you nowhere, despite the claims in the previous two posts. I suggest some experience of trying different combinations is a good idea in that case.