I second everything that kenny said here. As far as the bass goes. For home theater, to re-create and have realistic bottom end for explosions and all of that, clean bass is essential, and a subwoofer is recommended. But, your right, it is not just about getting a lot of bass to show off and impress your friends. Unless, your into that!!!!!!!!
Likewise, if your going to use this system to also play music, and say for example you like classical, again, good clean bass is essential. Some classical music, the bass drops below 40Hz, and most stand alone speakers that produce these low frequencies are costly. But, go listen to some systems at your dealer, with your source material that you are familiar with, and go from there.