Well, after owning this beast for a year, I finally got my "upgraded" stereo system installed! Oh, and what a difference it makes!
I installed a RioCar (Empeg MkIIa) head unit, two Blaupunkt amps (2x100 and 2x75), and Pioneer 5-way 6x9's out back. No subs and no upgrades to the front speakers... yet.
Budgetary concerns mostly.
The RioCar is a MP3 player with an internal 30GB hard drive and runs on Linux. They are no longer in production but are very sought after... Ebay is my friend!
For the fellow geeks out there: it has an 10Base-T Ethernet port, USB port and serial port. I've already upgraded the Kernel so it supports FTP and HTTP, from which I can stream audio through my laptop. It also has a large number of "visualizations" which respond to the music. One is featured in my sig.
The Blaupunkt amps are of the new so-called "Class T" design. They run VERY cool... after driving them pretty hard for about an hour they are still cool to the touch. Also, they are quite small. The 2x100 and 2x75 are the same outside physical dimensions. I mounted them on the little flat areas in the trunk nearest the back seats... flanking the spare on each side.
As I expected, wiring was the biggest pain. I pulled the center console, and rear seat. I ran the wires over the carpet under the center console, then used my trusty fish-tape to run it under the carpet between the rear center console mount and the back seat. I didn't realize that getting into the trunk from behind the back seat was so easy! I used a razor knife, but I think I could have poked through that "insulation" with a finger!
I did have to "Dremel" the front of the center console a little to make room for all the cables but it is not visible when installed.
I ran the speaker wires and power cable along one side of the center console/hump and the RCA's on the other. No noise/interference that I can hear. The RCA cables I got have the remote wire built in (sandwiched between the audio cables).
I'm very happy with it. And I have to give my wife kudos for helping with the whole thing. And let me tell you... the look on her face was priceless when she came out of the house and saw the center console, dash, rear seat, etc. sitting next to the car!!
Actually, she wanted me to upgrade the stereo before any "go" mods!
Also, just wanted to say thanks for all the help from the forum. The knowledge base here is priceless!! And a big thanks to those who answered my neophite questions directly!