Great questions you have here as sound as as important as any other issue in a home theater. For me though I wanted my basement home theater to look really cool too. This is something that my crappy old drop ceiling tiles didn't help with. They were good for the sound but overall I just hated looking at them.
I did a lot of research and ended up going with a Black Dart tile from Ceilume Ceiling Tiles. Their website is www.ceilume.com
. The Dart tile has an NRC rating of 30% and I also used something they sell called the Accoustotherm Backpanel which boosted my NRC up another 10% for a total NRC rating of 40%. While this is a bit lower than some of the more heavy duty tiles I researched, the look of the final product was awesome to say the least.
Check out their gallery of Home Theaters from their website:
I also found some great information on a forum called AVSforum and I think their website is just AVSforum.com . There are a ton of people on there who also used Ceilume and there is some great feedback as to how the tiles held up. For me they do a perfect job and everyone loves hanging out in my basement and watching movies.
They also gave me a 5% discount off of my order for ordering samples which turned out to be 100% free, I didn't even have to pay for shipping, like all of the other larger places make you do. Here is a link to their free sample page if you're interested:
Anyway, I hope this helps someone, please feel free to ask any questions about my project.