Surge Suppressor or Not?

I have an entry-level system (Cambridge 640 cd player, Parasound amp and pre-amp) which I can't really afford to replace if dead so am thinking about surge protection. Monster Power HTS2000 is about $200; Brick Wall PW8R15AUD is about $250. Are these good choices that wouldn't degrade sound unduly? Is there a better option?

I've been told that because amps have large transformers they don't need surge protection. Is that true?
I use a brick wall, I took it out last night to see if I could tell the difference without it. If there was a difference it was small. I do not run my power amp through it because it draws a large amount of current, I have never heard that having a large transformer was a protection against dangerous current surges. It may smooth out small variations in current.
That's a great start for entry level.
You need better than a $12 Home Depot strip.
Something in the lines of PS Audio Ultimate Outlet will work great. Personally, I don't care for Monster. Anything at this point to protect and condition should be a necessity.
Tiger Direct had (has?) a great deal on an APC H-10 power conditioner/surge protector. It seemed to make CD playback cleaner (like a slight veil was removed). Everything except the amp is plugged into that. I didn't like things (lost sound stage? depth?) as much with my amp plugged in so I just have that plugged into the wall. One of these days I'll spring for some PorterPorts for it.
Thank you, all, for your valuable suggestions. I found a post on another web site about lightning strikes and so searched web sites dealing with my area and found that we (foothills of Alberta, Canada) have the greatest number of lightning strikes a year in all of Canada so a surge protector will be a necessity.
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In that price range, I would get the brickwall. Just remember that nothing stops a direct lightning strike, if that's what you're trying to guard against. Unplug during storms.
Thanks, all, for the excellent recommendations. I have ordered a Zero Surge unit with isolated receptacles (8R15WI) after checking out many possibilities (price/quality/performance). I would like to thank, publicly, Donna De Vico the Sales and Marketing Manager at Zero Surge for answering all my e-mail questions and then on Dec. 23rd when their company was on skeleton staff and enjoying a Christmas holiday luncheon she took my order and brought it to the Post Office. That is great service.
Bob_reynolds from 12-15-08 is incorrect in his statement. BrickWall, Torus Power, and ZeroSurge are licensees of SurgeX not the other way around. SurgeX is the only one with 21st century 3-wire zero let through technology while the other 3 licensees are only allowed to use mid-nineties 2-wire technology.
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Yes. a surge protector is a good idea when lightning strikes. They do not affect the sound. They are easily made with a couple of varistors. Add an EMI filter and you have what most "power protectors" have for about 1/10 of the cost. There have been several articles in the electronics press about building one. A good isolation transformer with balance output is another good idea but not cheap. Plitron transformer site has an article on building one of these.
Er, Fuelie, Bob Reynolds did not say anything wrong. Being a "licensee of" Zero Surge technology (meaning ZS is the licensor) and licensing the technology "from" Zero Surge (meaning ZS is the licensor)is the same thing.
3 wire protection probably means HOT / GROUND / NEUTRAL

The ZS technology is available for 'whole house' protection, which if I lived in a place like Florida would be installed as soon as possible.