Re: Musical in-wall speakers on a relative budget.
Are you only planning on just stereo or 2.1? I guess I am wondering if a pre/pro is even necessary. You could get better quality sound by buying only what you need (2 channel) rather than buying a surround unit and only using the fronts, plus you would have easier setup. The Krell KAV400xi ($2,500) with the Revel in walls Jerry mentioned and a sub of some sort would make for an excellent main system, you could run another amp/receiver/in walls for the other room, on a lower budget and still come in under $7K, you could even do the HT in 5.1 with a receiver and still be under your PP if you choose carefully.
I guess my point is if you have two different needs (good 2 channel sound quality in one site and TV/HT in another room with lower standards) if you address each separately you can better meet the goals of good sound quality and HT more economically with two different systems.
Do you need them to all be connected? Even if you do, you could have this done with different systems as long as you run interconnects between the two (two pair would do, one each way).
I know I haven't made this decision any easier, but if it were me and I wanted a good sounding room and cared less about another, I would go with two separate systems.
Just my 0.02, hopefully it helps you meet your goals, as for the shopping, I know I just made it worse!
Ken Taraszka, MD