Point me in the right direction

Since I'm new here I know my question has been asked before. So if I can view or research some threads please help me find them. My question would be how to get started on a new/first system? Also why would it not be better to just purchase a boxed home theater system(it seems it would be cheaper)? Also what could be used in startup of a system from components from the early 90's? All hobbies are addictive and they get expensive but when first starting out you do until you can do better that I understand hopefully there's some help on this subject already here help me find it.
Read a lot of the threads here. Starting out new and finding this site is a big advantage. Use other's experience here instead of wasting money on your own.

On the home page, on the right hand side, choose discussion forums. At that point, you can search for whatever you want. I think for a starter system, you may want to choose newer components instead of early 90's components. The early 90's gear may be hard to find and won't be able to keep up with the newer gear (especially in terms of digital gear).

With a little research on this site and others you can build a system that outperforms a home theater in a box and spend the same amount of money. If you buy used, you'll be even farther ahead.
You have to start by telling us what you're looking for. How much do you want to spend? $500? $5000? I'm guessing closer to the former than the latter. Next, what do you want your system to be able to play--CDs, DVDs, LPs, radio, etc. You can do better than home theater in a box, but you need to think about what you want first.
These things depriciate quickly.
Used is usually better if you are budget concious.
Early 90's gear may work to an extent. You may be able to find a matching center to your speakers-I doubt it.
One thing that I find very important is to have your front 3 speakers and amps the same.
You may end up using your speakers for the rears or finding a matching center.
It is less likely that you will find a 3/4 channel amp that will match your stereo amp (if you have a receiver, sell it). A nice stereo amp may sell for enough to buy some HT gear.
My last bit of advice: Don't skimp on the sub or center channel. They handle the bulk of the work.
Take a look at Outlaw Audio for components http://www.outlawaudio.com/...Parts Express has subwoofer kits that "ANYONE" can build http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=300-760

Speakers?....go out and listen to a few if you can...buy 5 of what you like. If you can't go listen for some reason, research here and at other forums (Audiocircle forum comes to mind for budget gear) for good speakers...lots of info because everyone is at some time or another looking for them.

Digital?...Another search will turn up tons of suggestions in the budget range...I'd spend around $500 here if music is more important than movies.