Lighting, you might consider LED instead of low voltage. CREE makes great quality LED lights that are perfect except they don't dim to amber then off. They dim and stay the same color. I think LED will be the gold standard in lighting within the next 2 or 3 years and if you put low voltage in, you might have trouble converting to LED in the future.
As far as controlling the lighting. I do have Insteon and the last 2 years have proven good on quality. It is a simple deal to get it working all over your house using the switchlincs and kpl's, that is, if you only have a small setup. Large setups are nearly impossible to program without an ISY or software package. If you want offsite control or iphone/etc control you will need an ISY or a software package for that. The ISY is tremendous, but may be overkill for you (this is what I have). If you go with a software package, you will need a computer running 24/7. The thing about ISY and software packages is, you will need to dedicate some time to figure them out. If you don't have the time, you might just forget about it.
As far as audio, this can get very complex. Apple has some wireless setups that are very simple and work well. If you start doing built in speakers, amps, etc. there just really isn't a plug and play way to do it. You really have to spend time on this stuff.
As far as your tv, if you just want to listen to the tv in the tv room and enjoy good sound quality, use the digital output into a dolby digital amp and setup your local speakers there. If you want the sound throughout your house, it gets trickier, especially if you want to have multiple points of control. The left/right line out on the tv will have you enjoying 1980's quality sound. A 5.1 dolby digital amp will be wayyyy better sounding. 3 front speakers, 2 rear speakers, and a subwoofer are great. The 7.1 systems add the "presence" speakers which, in my opinion, only marginally improve the experience.
Edited by Lou Apo, 15 December 2010 - 02:20 PM.