I thought I'd never have the cash or the patience to get a coordinated stereo system to fill my apartment. I discovered Sonos and it's a big wow. Easy to set up and add on later. iTunes, Rhapsody, Pandora playing where and when you like it -- all controlled from an iPad or iPhone app. I listen to much more music now.
If you put your music on a networked drive, you don't need a computer to be on to have music. Also, it has its own controller, further divorcing it from your computer. And it can play different music in different rooms simultaneously, which I don't think Apple's system can do.