Your One Bullet Point Solution; Electrical Upgrade

Two points; I am well aware of many threads on topic of electrical service. I do not have time to read hundreds of posts, but wish to distill them down with your help. I will also post this on the Tech Forum to get wider response:

Doing service upgrade to 100A. I plan on adding a whole house surge protector, type 2, add on to panel after the service enters house. Panel to the HT/Music room is not under consideration, as it was all updated when the room was built.

If anyone has important info/contradictory info on that plan, please inform.

What I would like to know in shorthand form from the community from those who have Done upgrades:

1. Recommended Panel? Brand, any difference?

2. I currently have sub-panel for HT/Audio room which I’m tempted to keep. I understand that this is a good move.
Electrician can sum all into a larger panel, but I have reservations. Comments/recommendations?

3. Particular wiring/breakers for panel/sub-panel for audio use?

4. Particular surge protector recommend.

As the topic has been covered much, notation form comments are welcome. Thanks for helping!

The plan at this point:
New main panel w. 40 slots - copper bus, better breakers
(Leave sub-panel in place just in case a transformer needs to be put in-between main panel and sub-panel)
Whole house surge protector on main panel 

If there are problems with noise I can get isolation transformer to put between main and sub-panel, and put the HT/Audio room lines back on the sub-panel. 

We'll see how it goes!  

Thank you for helping to talk through this! 
Any thoughts or consideration of adding a separate copper ground rod for the audio only panel? 
Any thoughts or consideration of adding a separate copper ground rod for the audio only panel?

Do it, but you MUST bond it to the rest of the grounds.  You can't create an independent ground network that is separate from the house ground that is bonded to neutral at the service entrance.

Also, and this is from reading a long long time ago, I have a faint memory that research regarding surge protectors and lightning strikes showed that bare armored ground (BAG) was superior than merely using a ground cable to the panel. Something about the armor carrying high frequency ground currents better.  Usually the armor is not required or installed.
I'm not considering a grounding rod.