A) don't know what they are talking about
B) want to make a lot of money off of you
granted, a LOT of people like the clean look of hidden ceiling speakers, not caring for ideal performance. Typical.
Ceiling mounting speakers is the least recommended. Its the last resort. This order: Free standing speakers, on wall speakers, in wall speakers, ceiling speakers.
The best usage I can think of for ceiling speakers is for a multi row HT without sidewall(s). To be able to fire over multiple rows of people.
If you want in-wall/in-ceiling, a higher end brand that comes up a lot is Triad. For more moderate, and value oriented brands, Speakercraft comes up a lot.
$1k to $3k will get you awesome stereo. I would go for Ascend Sierra 1s. You can decide to add stereo subs if you want true full range reproduction, but the Sierras have great bass response compared to most all bookshelves. Could depened on room volume, and how much natural gain there is, perhaps. $300-1000 roughly for an integrated amp. Depending on how volumes desired and how far you sit. Sources are up to you. The rest on acoustical treatments. Bass trapping particularly for smaller rooms at joining of boudaries. Treatments for first reflection points.
The above $3k or so will sound superior to systems costing many times over. My present noobie belief.
Does anyone know if speakers that are built into the ceilings of homes offer good quality compared with mid-range (say $1,000-$3,000) stereo systems. I have talked to builders and designers who say built in speakers are the way to go, but I want to make sure the quality is good.