Time for you to read Jim Smith's and Floyd Toole's books. These guys are masters, both cover the basics, and more.
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Ah, I get it. Not sure where to start? First, figure out your budget. Think about what music you are going to spend most of your time listening to. Think about what kind of sound do you like. Warm and fuzzy? Clean and clear as you can get? If you can get this stuff nailed in your mind it will help guide you. This is going to be YOUR system so the most important thing in all of this is to get YOUR toes tapping.
Dan_ed speaks good advice. I think the only thing to add is "listen to your ears and don't try to please someone else's ears" Freinds and salesmen seem to only clutter the terrain. Make yourself happy, you will spend the majority of your time listening by yourself. Find a dealer that wants a long term customer and will work with you on trying differents things. A good dealer will explain the why's and why not's of different configurations. And most importantly remember we "audio-folk" are never happy and always eveloving our systems. Welcome to our little obsession.
Those 3 brands could be all that you need. They would be for me. Granted ones wallet will be a lot lighter. That is great you can audition them. Buying, selling and trading online you can't always audition and if the sound doesn't fit it can cause money loss plus the inconvenience of re-selling. Wait till you start selling your gear and get nitpicked and lowballed. You were the 3rd owner I'm going to offer you even less. You list at a fair market value you still get lowballed by 60% off of your listing. Some people make it no fun at all.
McIntosh makes great quality amps that last for years and retain value. Jolida (.com or .net) components look to be solid and people can't stop raving about the JD9 phono preamp recently. As for B&W I've heard the 683 speaker line and they sound superb and that is only the entry line. The others might be better.
Well good luck in your search and I hope it isn't bumpy.