Optical is thre only choice for longer runs. I would look at Wireworld Supernove optical cable;it is the best I've heard.
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Coax is preferred. It transmits the digital signal more accurately and intact. With optical you have to be concerned about the bend in the cable so as not to create any distortion from stressing the optical fibers in the cable. There are certainly other reasons that escape me; however, maybe someone else can provide input here.
>without regards to cost> ? In a home theatre environment the toslinc does well. For 2ch--that's different. I am forced to use toslinc out of my HiDef sat. set top box--going into my Meridian processor. The sep. amps,speakers and wires I use make up for a lot.BTW, I do use the iridescent green toslinc.