Are sound bars worth it?

My cable provider [Videotron in Quebec City] does not offer a cable base/box with analogue outputs. So, I am at a loss how to get the audio signal from my TV to my preamp, for real sound while watching TV.

My question is whether any sound bars are worth the expense and effort in providing better audio than the TV itself [a SONY.... but they are all terrible].

Any opinions?
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Every sound bar that I have heard—granted, not very many—has sounded like crap to me.
I think that Reubent post is the way to go.  Presumably his device has at least  one digital output beside HDMI, because DACs with HDMI inputs are scarce things.
Most TV's have at least an optical digital out. Just have to make sure you set the output to stereo or DD.  So, HDMI from cable box to TV, optical digital from there.  My new LG sadly lacks analog outs, but my previous TV had a mini stereo jack out.

Yeah, sound bars are worth it, in that they are convenient, relatively inexpsnisive ($300-$2,500) and can add a sub along with it.

The irresistible part of this for many is leaving the high end music system alone. :)
So the LG I got earlier this year has ARC (Audio Return Channel) on one of the HDMI connections. I'm using that to feed a Yamaha sound bar (YAS-107). The TV automatically turns the bar on and off and controls the sound bar volume.

While I'd never mistake the sound bar for a full home theater it definitely sounds way better than the TV and requires no real effort for casual viewing. For me it's a no brainer.
Use the optical output of your tv to a DAC (inexpensive or audiophile quality) from DACs analogue out to your preamp. In the Sony's TVs menu switch to external speakers. 
I also doubted whether to buy it, but when I bought it, I did not regret it. I bought an inexpensive Sony soundbar because I had doubts, you can look here But the quality turned out to be great, it is still with me. I like the sound, the way the sound bounces off the walls. It's awesome. I'm sure you'll pick one up for yourself as well.