You'll need a receiver that has surround ability. All of these can play in 2 channel stereo or 2 channel plus a subwoofer (2.1 mode) as well. Two smaller bookshelf speakers plus a subwoofer will give you lots of flexibility in the placement as well since your place is small. You'll want the receiver to have several HDMI inputs and be able to decode all the modern sound codecs (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA) if you'll like to add a blu-ray player or game machine in the future.
Tell us your budget and we can recommend brands to consider.
I recently upgraded to HD cable and have a nice Vizio flat screen HDTV. My current audio system is a cheap out-of-the-box setup I received as a gift many years ago. I would like to upgrade to something better. I live in a rather small apartment and sit approx. 10-12 ft. from the screen. I'm interested mostly in good quality stereo. I don't watch too many movies so surround sound is not important right now. Being able to upgrade to surround in the future might be a consideration.
I've been surfing the electronic web sites for ideas. Way too many brands, sizes and numbers for my little pea brain to process! Any and all ideas about brands, amps and speakers would be appreciated. Like what about shelf as opposed to floor-standing speakers? Stuff like that. Happy New Year to all!