What do you think of soundbars compared to speakers?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts about the benefits of modern day soundbars compared to the days of surround sound speakers and other inventions.

For me personally, growing up in the surround sound era, it was a neat little thing to have surround sound to show off to people when they came round to watch a movie or tv show. However, I think nowadays soundbars are my personal preference purely because of a lot less clutter and also multi functionality with the fact a lot of them can also play music etc through bluetooth. 

What do you guys think? Do soundbars create enough of a room filling audio for your tastes?
Soundbar and sub in my family room with the curved samsung for watching the tube .. my ht room is 7:2 and is great . That being said price is a major factor as is size
good luck
Zvox 555 - one of the best kept secrets in the soundbar business!!!  A flat rectanglar box, my 50" plasma sits on top of mine.  Pulled it out of the box and was listening to it in less than 10 minutes.  Plugs into the wall with one cable to the TV and yr done.  I used to have the TV placed within my main rig and of course it sounded great but I found I'd only use it for 'blockbusters', seemed like dramatic overkill to use for 'talkie' movies or most standard TV fare.  Totally spanks the TV spkrs.  They make them in smaller (and larger) models.  Tremendous bank for yr buck!
Just out of interest for someone who is moving from a 5.1 to a sound bar(wife... dont ask), what do you guys recommend that I pick up? I'm gonna have trouble convincing her past £550.... Want to keep as much as the surround sound as possible.