Re: HDMI Cables
I'd say it depends on the cable length. As wes said above, since this is digital, either it works, or it doesn't. "Does it ever _not_ work?" Oh yes...
My story of HDMI-Hell, where I resided uncomfortably for 3 months in late 2005-early 2006: I'd just bought a new Yamaha receiver with HDMI out and a new Philips HDTV. The TV was going on the living room wall of our new house >here<, and the receiver was going against the wall >there<, I figured I needed about a 35-foot run of cable (just over 10m.) This was HDMI 1.1--1080i maximum, and going to be buried in a wall.
For lengths from 1 to 5 meters: no problem. Price was irrelevant: they all worked. Once I got out past 10m, NOTHING worked, whether it cost $50 or $400. I bought and returned at least 5 cables from various vendors. I tried plain cables, cables with powered equalizers, a "HDMI-to-CAT5 ethernet" converter. I drove my AV store up the wall. I called Philips. I called Yamaha. (I heard, "We don't recommend HDMI past 5m," a lot. Hey, thanks!) Philips' locally contracted service rep refused to come and look at the TV. ("Their engineers say your cable's too long. It ain't gonna work.") Nobody knew how to fix the problem, although my local AV shop (where I'd bought the Amp) let me audition several cables, and offered what advice they could. (And that's why I ultimately bought the winner from them--they let me audition it, and put up with me.)
After a lot of trying, I found a Key Digital 40-ft Python cable plus an UltraLink HDMI in-line repeater would get the signal through reliably. That was the ONLY thing that would get the signal through. Total cost was somewhere between $300 and $400. (And then throw in the $50 or so in return shipping and insurance for the losers...ugh.) Yes, we buried it in the wall. Yes, someday, we may have to do it all over again for HDMI 1.3..or more. I've heard that longer runs are now more reliable. I'm in no hurry to experiment.
This wasn't a "I need the best picture I can afford" scenario--it was "Just make the <blank>ing thing work!!!" Hopefully you've got a short run, and monoprice is the right price. I wasn't so lucky.