HDTV & Home Theatre advice

I consider myself something of a geek in a few different spheres. Phones, computers, programming...sadly, HDTVs and home theatre systems are not one of those realms at which I have a natural talent nor a (somewhat unhealthy) attraction toward.

I now need help though. My wife and I just bought a house (yay) and promised ourselves that we would get started on a home theatre. We are not looking for anything too big, probably somewhere around 46" for the tv (it's a beginning point for us and the room isn't too big). It doesn't have to be a smart tv. Eventually, I plan to get an Apple tv to go with this to work with my other devices. We are also looking for some advice on audio. We both think that the sound is often what makes the movie, so we want to make sure that it is a good quality at a good price. I know that staying away from HTIB is usually the way to go, but I don't much past that.

So I would really appreciate advice. What tv brands are better than others? What are some of the things I have to have versus other things that are just sales gimmicks? Is LED really that much better than LCD? I have seen a few tvs that are on sale (like a Phillips 46" LED for $700) but I just don't know what is a good deal or not. Thanks in advance!