I'm very new to the Rex gang -- bought an '09 Premium sedan last week. :-)
I'll eventually get into tuning, but she performs great for me for now. I must do something with the stereo, though. I'm not an audiophile, but my ears do demand something better than what's currently in there.
From my last vehicle, I have an Alpine deck with iPod adapter, a pair of Infinity component 6 1/2 door speakers w/ separate tweeter, and a 10" sub with an amp.
1) Should I install the Alpine deck, or just use the factory HU? Alpine decks rock and it powers the door speakers handily, but I'm assuming I'd need an external amp if I keep the factory HU. I'd also have to buy the iPod integration kit if I keep the HU. I love my Alpine deck, but I also like the clean look of the factory HU. The factory HU is also much less of a target for thieves...
2) If I install the Alpine deck, is there an easy way to maintain the functionality of the steering wheel radio controls? I don't want them to be useless if they're right in front of me.
I know there could be lots of "it depends" answers, but if there are any car audio junkies out there with strong feelings one way or the other, I'd love to hear from you.