Hey, in my experience, Harmon Kardon makes great products and they're worth their price. If you want the pounding, all you need to do is upgrade your subwoofer...something with 8" or more should do it depending on the size of the room. For anything under a few thousand, it's really a lost cause looking for great bass from each speaker, and there's really no harm to splitting up the bass and mid/highs. If you have the model number of the Harmon system you're looking at, I'll be glad to let you know if I have any takes on that one specifically. I would choose the 5 speaker setup over the 2 speaker one any day though...there's no substitute for having the sound actually surround you! Two big tips, not sure if either will be relevant to you though: 1) Don't buy Bose! No matter what, don't do it! They're overpriced, and they have bass, but only in the store setup...and they lack clarity. I love their aviation headset and the sounddock, but anything else is money down the drain. and 2) Don't let anyone talk you into expensive cables, a power conditioner, or anything like that. Here we have a brand called "Monster Cables" that sells 6 foot optical cables for $100.... the store makes a good chunk of profit (around $30) on that since all stores must sell it at that price and there's no competition so they'll tell you that not buying their speaker cables, hookup cables, etc is a mortal sin. There was a double-blind test done awhile back that proved that a regular lamp cord sounded just as good...all you need is medium gauge copper wire. PM
me if you have any more questions!