Ask Engadget HD: Which cable / interconnect brand should I rely on?

We've heard this question so many times that we've taken for granted the answer, but given the recent increase in competition in the cable market, we figured we'd pass along Josiah's question on the matter:

"I'm not going to pay hundreds of dollars for those cables sold in Best Buy and Circuit City, but I want the best possible audio and video quality. I've got a pretty basic setup, and I just need a few HDMI cables, a set of component cables and a few optical audio cables. Where would I go to get the best for my money? Is there a particular brand I should look for? What has worked out for your readers?"

Unload your experiences with cables -- however expensive (or cheap) -- below, and be sure to elaborate on which brand / store / etc. you found to be the best for the price. Oh, and make no mention of Furutech, we're trying to keep the cost-per-cable under a grand.

Got a burning question that you'd love to toss out for Engadget HD (or its readers) to take a look at? Tired of Google's blank stares when you ask for real-world experiences? Hit us up at ask at engadgethd dawt com and keep an eye on this space -- your inquiry could be next.