As a general rule you can get better SQ for less money out of headphones. Headphone amps and headphones cost less than speaker amps/speakers. So if you want to start down the hi-fi road then headphones might be good for you.
Senn HD595's are a good beginner headphone. They aren't spectacular, but they're good enough to give you a taste. They were my first real can.
Grado SR 60's/80's are also a good starting point. Many say the sr 60's are the best bargain, but I personally feel that the sr 80's are worth the extra $30.
There are a few things we'll need to know before we can recommend anything too specific. Like, what music you listen to, will you mostly listen to music, movies or games? Do you currently have a stereo or surround sound system that you would like to build off of? Do you prefer headphones or speakers? Do you have a price range? Myself and others can help point you in the right direction, but the beautiful thing about audio nirvana is that everyone's ears are different and what your perfect setup might be is different from my perfect setup. which btw, I don't mind sharing with you
I went to a regional head-fi meet not too long ago, and was playing with some of my cables the night before. I was burning in my Silver 16 IC and after it hit about 40 hours it started to open up and I was in heaven.
Transport: Marantz CD5001
Source: Zhaolu 1.3 (upgraded)
Amp: Little Dot II+
Headphones: Senn HD580 (HD600 grills & upgraded cable)
Power: OneAC power conditioners
IC: BJC digital coax, Soloz Audio Silver 16, Soloz Audio Senn, Boulder CAble Power\\
That was it, I hit audio nirvana listening to Massize Attack: The Man Next Door. I almost didn't go to the meet because I knew I would find something else I wanted and sure enough... My new amp that I desperately want is a Single Power PPX3 Slam, configured the way I want is about a $1K amp. so, I won't have one for some time. But I did sell a couple silver cables to other head-fier's that came
so it wasn't a total bust. lol.
But I share this to say, listen to whatever you can. A good budget system is nto hard to put together. Nothing in my system cost more than $300 each, so you can piece together a system from scratch if you have to.
I'm not sure where Nottingham PA is, but you're welcome to come over sometime and listen to my setup.