FWIW, I have the HT-S3400 (last year's model) and the set is AWESOME for a beginner's 5.1 home theater setup. The set has decent speakers (actually, "great" speakers if one isn't an audiophile) but the real gem is the receiver.
The receiver has 4 HDMI inputs (among many other old-school inputs like Component & Composite) and has most of the core features available in other $300-$400 5.1-based receivers. You're essentially getting the satellite speakers thrown in as a really sweet bonus. Not to mention, the satellites all connect using a combination of speakerwire and banana plugs -- they do NOT use proprietary plugs unlike most other HTIB systems in this price range. This allows you to upgrade speakers independently in the future while being able to keep the receiver.
Here are some receiver features that I can rattle off the topic of my head:
- Ability to adjust levels (via decibals) for each individual speaker
- Ability to set "speaker distance" to compensate for auditory lag
- Subwoofer Crossover
- Speaker A/B zoning
- Easy to use on-screen GUI
- Pre-set sound templates (but most enthusiasts/audiophiles turn off these settings anyway)
"Missing" features that would have been nice, but not necessary:
- No built-in microphone to does the sound calibration work for you; I used sound meter apps in conjunction with 2 different devices (my Android phone and the iPad) in order to gauge sound equality, in lieu of the missing microphone.
- The subwoofer that comes with the set is Passive, meaning that you can't easily change out the subwoofer. However, I'm not a professional audiophile and find the bass to be very wall-crumbling strong.
- Apple iPod support (maybe they added this in this year's 3500 version); I don't really care much for this type of integrative feature in consumer electronics anyway.
Like I mentioned before, the speakers themselves aren't bad. Each satellite has 3.5" drivers that exude pretty crisp sound. There are no tweeters in any of the satellites though, meaning clarity for high's is a bit lost. I never really noticed these audio deficiencies until I started tinkering around and learning more about "higher-end" systems. Again, this entire package is EXPONTENTIALLY BETTER than most of the other HTIB's that you see sold in stores in this price range (e.g. Sony, Samsung, RCA, Philips ... all junk).
Lastly, this HTIB is a gateway to the dangerous world of audio electronics. You'll always want to keep on upgrading.