You know what I don’t get? Why people go out and spend thousands of dollars on computer and home entertainment equipment, and don’t buy a good surge protector to match. Thats like buying a Ferrari and getting Geico for your car insurance.
The cheapest solution I’d ever consider is a 4000+ joule rated surge protector. Power Sentry, Belkin, and Tripp (but oddly not APC, who corners the UPS market) make MOV-based1 surge protectors rated for at least 4000 joules, with way more plugs than you need, coax cable surge protection, and phone/DSL protection. It’d take quite a hit to knock one of these out and fry the equipment behind it.
The only realistic next step up is almost completely isolating your equipment and use an “online” UPS, which always powers your equipment from the battery even while the UPS is externally powered; this not only eliminates the switch over time (which sometimes causes computers to reboot due to too long of an under-voltage situation), but it also produces a clean and pure power source, or at least, something better than whats coming out of the wall.
So, right now, go run down to your local department store, and go pick up a good $40+ surge protector, and quit risking your equipment to sudden death conditions.
 metal oxide varistor, basically the best surge protector technology available due to its ability to survive multiple power surges and ability to quickly switch off in overload conditions (usually measured in nanoseconds).