if your ears cannot tell the difference then I wish I had your ears
This is very true. If you can't hear the difference, then upgrading quality won't do anything for you; but if you can hear the difference, then you should keep something in mind: you can never go backward. Once you've gotten used to listening to a high fidelity system, trying to revert to a lower budget/quality system is like claws on a chalkboard. As strange as it may sound, this isn't a joke: I can stand listening to lower-end speakers only for about 10 minutes or so now before I just have to either shut them off or distance myself so as to make it mostly inaudible.
Also keep in mind that while the price at which it happens varies, there is a clear-cut, day-and-night difference in sound between budget systems and hi-fi systems. Sales people have destroyed the term hi-fi, but it actually does mean something from a qualitative perspective. If I had to venture an estimate, the transition between a 5.1ch budget system and a 5.1ch hi-fi system is around the $4000 mark. Obviously, budget systems vary in quality just the same as hi-fi systems.
Rule #1 with all speakers and audio equipment: listen before you buy: no one's ears are the same.
The only way I know to get hi-fi quality at budget prices is to buy used or to build the speakers yourself if you're good at that kind of thing. Building speakers takes a lot of math and practice to get right though.
Edited by Electrocutor - 12/13/12 at 9:00am