Re: System Advice, Please? Never Thought I'd Ask For Easy Listening, But
That is a huge room to fill, so you will want efficient (high Db output @ 1W/M) speakers to allow lots of sonic output from a receiver. Charly's suggestion for the Onkyo is a good one, IO am likely going to use one of their smaller ones in my bedroom when IU get around to replacing a receiver that died in their...
Speakers are a very personal thing though, so you will need to go around and listen to all you can, take material you are familiar with and listen to as many different ones as you can. NHT's are good, I also really like Paradigm and Definitive Technologies for affordable speakers, but DO go listen for yourself before you buy!
Oppo makes a good player for the money, so I too can agree with that as a choice, it will also allow you to play SACD and DVD-A (should you have/want any...)
As for a music server, well, how you want to go depends, you could easily use an Apple Airport express and stream all your music wirelessly from your computer to the system, they are only ~$120 and ~$30 more for the cables (might be able to get these for less now, I haven't priced them in a while) Any receiver that can handle multiple zones will easily cover your outside speakers, only some will allow you to switch from mains to surrounds as this is a pretty esoteric and unusual request of a receiver, I have seen this feature on something, not sure if it is a receiver or pre/pro, but it is very uncommon and I would NOT recommend you wire the surrounds from two separate outputs of a receiver under any circumstances...
If you go with the Onkyo, airport and Oppo, that will only run you ~ $1,100, so then all you need to do is find some speakers.............
BTW enjoy PJ, though they have Petered out since I saw them last. First time I saw them they and Smashing Pumkins were warming up for the Red Hot Chili Peppers @ the American Theater in St Louis, this was before either PJ or SP had ever seen airtime, in fact it is where the Evenflow video was shot, look closely and you'll see a tall guy in a yellow sports jacket, that was my friend who had the tickets....
Ken Taraszka, MD