Joey wants to buy a good, simple two channel stereo system. Scott says that for a budget system, Elac makes a really nice system. They recently hired Andrew Jones from Pioneer and he designs some amazing, affordable systems. Elac just released a really buttery two channel amp for about $1,000. He could get a few bookshelf speakers and he'll be good to go. The Chatroom says that Peachtree amps also have a good reputation.
What about Solid State vs. Tubes? Scott says that is a religious debate in audio land. It comes down to feel. Tubes give off a kind of warmth to the sound, which is caused by harmonic distortion. Some really like it, but it's not an accurate depiction of the sound.