I would not recommend using 5.1 speakers all at the front of the room. I don't think you are going to get the effect you seek. Personally, I would greatly prefer a 2.1 (L, R, subwoofer) setup using a quality integrated amp and DVD player as the electronics. The money saved on speakers could be used to upgrade the integrated amp to a quality unit. Also, some DVD players may have a "virtual surround" feature that will be more effective than the 5 speaker setup you mentioned.
If you really want to try something different, you might consider using something like the Yamaha YSP1 or YSP800. It is a multi speaker array in a single cabinet. It sits above or below your TV and creates virtual surround sound by using phase shifting, delays, etc. It seems pretty cool and would be much more compact than the 5.1 setup you described. It is also purpose built for the application you described.
Polk Audio makes a similar unit, but I've not heard as much about it.