yeah i suppose that really is all it boils down to nowadays, which unit has the better DAC. I understood that optical provided for 5.1 whereas RCA, obviously, doesnt, seeing as how its mere stereo. I was just trying to see if there was a disparity in loss between optical or RCA for stereo only. Again, it seems like its not so much a disparity in the lines themselves (as if you were comparing glass VS platic optical, or balanced vs unbalanced line...any type of quality comparison) its more about which unit does better DAC, and choosing the lines to make use of the better DAC.
I suppose in a sense similar to discussion about which cable to use from HDTV source to HD TV. If the source, cable/satellite box does better upconversion then maybe go HDMI/DVI, if your TV does better upconversion then go component.
I do appreciate all the input tho. I suppose high quality RCA may be acceptable for this case, it isnt going to be my primary HT anway. But i do want to be able to crank out the tunes form my this living room hehe. And yeah it may have seemed a dumb/odd question, but better to ask than to assume.