car stereo automobile sound system

I am looking to get good sound in the car as I am spoiled from what I have in the house. Can any one help me as to where should I start looking e.g. speakers amps heads etc. I prefer to get high end life like sound with sound stage and depth rather than a loud heavy bass system. thanks.
I tried for many years to approach the sound achievable in the best of home audio.I could get a few key metrics,high volume,dynamics,low frequency.
However image palpability,dimensionality,that reach out and hold it quality eludes.
Closest I could get was Dynaudio mid/tweeter combo in fabricated kick panels with no center channel.Just straight stereo no DSP tricks and you had to lean in to the middle for best focus.The interior glass boundaries always color the sonics far too much.
Even 5.1 sounds much processing in close quarters just shy of natural.In the end you'll settle for dynamics,low end,and volume...but motor started going down the highway it's all downhill.
Holly cow, I hope I am not around you guys when you are "listening" to the nuances of audiophile equipment while driving! There is a time to listen and that is not while driving, therefore no need or possibility of having audiophile quality system in a car.
Of course you might be using the car system as a portable "boom box" to disturb fellow picnickers!
If you must drive while listening to an audiophile system, install a driver simulator in your listening room.
Salut, Bob P.
I'll Second Key_metric's point of view, and add my own.

Head unit: Eclipse or Macintosh

Amps: Precision Power (PPI), make sure you get the good ones, not the lower line (I can't remember how they are distinguished, except by the specs).

Speakers: MB Quart. No question. Go top of the line and go for the competition crossovers and with proper installation, nothing (IMHO) can touch them.

Subs: JL Audio.

Head units to avoid like the plague: Sony, including the ES line and Alpine, unless you like severe digital glare.

Kenwood, unless you like ridiculously bloated bass and

Pioneer, unless you like having the midrange scooped out of your music.

I realize a lot of this is subjective, but at least it will give you a refence to start with. With these brands, expect to spend in the range of $4-5K including install to get top of the line with excellent sound. Hope that helps.
Nak makes the best cd head unit I've heard, specifically the 45z, but dealers are difficult to find, and units are known to be temperamental and at least for the 45z range. The error correction is bad, if it exists at all (I don't know) -CDs have to be really good shape or they will skip. I for one stopped buying used CDs because they never play all the way through. I don't know the story for X00-CD series. Also, I agree that Dynaudio is super. The major problem I have encountered is finding HUs and speakers that aren't bright, which is almost half the reason I like Dyn and Nak.

You won't be able to get the sound you can from a home system due to obvious constraints. While width from speakers mounted in kick-panels is doable, soundstage and depth in particular are not exactly the last things "to go" when putting a quality stereo in a car. Reduce noise, get a good tonal balance, some detail and reliability, and that's about all you can ask for, ime.
Hey, I musta fallen behind times, 3 outta 4 equipment suggestions ain't too bad considering the adavancements in car audio.
I'll do some more homework on the head unit catagory................................