Novice looking for advice

I'm in the market for a two channel system and would appreciate advice from more experienced owners of higher end equipment.
I heard some Linn Akurate 242's at a local dealer. Loved the speakers but Linn products seem awfully expensive. Has anyone had any experience with these speakers paired with either Mcintosh or Rogue Electronics? What I had in mind is a mac tube preamp, mac 250 amp, source I'm still at a loss. For about the same price as the mac stuff I can probably get Rogue monos and a preamp. Any responses would be much welcomed.
You need to establish price range, space limitations, type of music you prefer, how loud do you want it to play. Should it be a floorstander or stand mount? How important is appearance. With this type of info, members could give you specific advice. You should also make the decision before speaker purchase as to whether it will be a tube or ss amp. Tube amps prefer an 8ohm load and one that is not reactive. There are exceptions to every rule.
I never recommend vintage separates to a novice. Too many issues can occur. Start with something newer or simpler. Rouges could be great or on the simpler side Jolida.
I would start with the speakers, but spend some time to get what you really want. The room and placement are going to be the most important factors in choosing a speaker. Then you get the appropriate power amp to drive your speaker, tube or ss. Pour over these threads and then listen, listen, listen! Hopefully you are in a place that allows you to audition several brands and styles to find what YOU like, don't worry about the price (many $1k speakers can sound better than $3k speakers) or others opinions, Get would sounds good to you , trust what you hear not what you read though. Good luck and welcome.
High R2W

As you desribe yourself as a novice, if you live in a in/near a city that has a high end audio retailer(s), go visit one or more stores and see if you can hook up with an honest salesperson. I am not talking about Best Buy here.

If you can, they will recommend several products in your price range and you can audition them in the store. They might let you audition them at home. A really good retailer might set the stuff up in your home for audition.

You can find many product recommendations on these forums,but, in my experience, its no substitute for auditioning - the speakers at least.
lotsa great stuff for sale here used... demo everything you can but i rarely buy new unless firesale priced. if you have the $ it is your call tho. why macintosh is one question... and as noted, do you really think seperates is wise as a beginner? jmo. keep it simple and find a guy who can get you farther down the learning curv before you start spending big money. a 'guru' of sorts will save huge amnt of time and money and headache.
First, let me thank everyone for your responses, I really appreciate all the input I can get. To answer a couple of questions I would like to keep my budget around $10k but I’m not locked into that and my upper limit is $20k. I’d prefer to spend less. My goal is to purchase a system that sounds good to me, secondly since this will be a part of my family room and I’ll be looking at it on a daily basis I’d like it not to be too hard on the eyes.

I listen to all types of music but probably more acoustic and smooth jazz than anything. There is so much stuff on the market and my experience and knowledge is limited. I’m also living in a rural town in Virginia which makes shopping around a challenge. Stores in the northern VA area are a two to three hour drive each way and it’s not like they carry all of the product lines that I’d like to compare. As I mentioned in my initial post I did like the Linn Akurate 242 speakers but that particular dealer carried primarily Linn products making it difficult to listen to the speakers with a variety of amplifiers. I’ve been to another store that carried Macintosh components but not the Linns. Their main speaker line was B&W which also sounded great. The B&W’s were physically quite a bit larger and seemed to sound better when cranked up a bit. I generally don’t listen at high volume levels.

Rather than having a salesperson tell me what is best for me when his opinion will be affected by the commission he makes, I chose to solicit the advice of the experienced and knowledgeable group that participates in these forums and has nothing to gain.

Once again, all input is greatly appreciated.
As you stated living in a rural area will make it difficult for you to visit dealers so you can listen to a wide variety of equipment. However, with what you are budgeting you could easily buy various pieces of gear here on Audiogon and try them in your own home, which is preferable. Just be sure to pick up items that have good resale value. You can put together a great system buying used with your budget.

However, I will recommend you take the 2 - 3 hour drive to visit Deja Vu Audio in McLean, VA. Vu carries a lot of nice gear and is a great source of information. I bought my first true high end system from him.

BTW - you never did mention anything about your listening room. The room may actually influence the type of equipment you should buy, especially speakers.