<font color='#8D38C9'>Well you can always look into getting used subs and amps and they'll run you chaper, but there's always a chance that they might have been used too hard and will burn out soon... though that rarely happens.
I'd stay away from places that sell all electronics (tv's, pc's, radios, etc), like Stereo Advantage, circuit city and even Best Buy. Try to find a place in your area that JUST does car audio, they'll be your best bet. Also check up on what you want online at the manufacturers site to make sure you won't get ripped off. If you are interested in Pioneer,go to their site and read up. My friend did that and then went somehwere to get a head unit and when she asked the price they quoted something like $300 over the price she saw it was being sold for, they were trying to make a profit I guess. BUT since she knew what it was retailing for she told the guy out and then left and got it somewhere else.
If you have a hatchback, "you'll get good sound no matter what you put in there", a direct quote from the guys who did my set up... I would stay away from Sony for subs and amp (Xplod), though their head units are okay.
I have a Pioneer head unit that I love and a JL Audio sub and speakers, which are also really good, but they run a little high. I have a Coustic amp which is good, but I've heard they arn't as good as they used to be.
Subs: JL Audio, I think Memphis is a good brand which is a bit cheaper, Audiobahn, JBL, MTX and Blaupunkt are good too, Rockford Fosgate too and I've heard a lot of good things about Kickers.
<font color='#000080'>I'm reminded of a sign that I saw where I get my tattoos. Cheap work isn't good, good work isn't cheap. But to get the most out of your money, I recomend a pioneer headunit. You get more options and features for your $. Fosgate amps area little pricey but the run great and rarely have problems. Subs well depends what your looking for. Low sounding bass or nice and punchy and hard hitting. I have Premire 1240's and they hit hard. But deffinitly stay away from places like circut city and have somone who knows car audio do the work or do it yourself. Paying for labor sucks, and most ppl at circut city don't know what they are doing. Good luck with your search.