Not much we can do with 15-17K when it comes to buying a component music system.
Your friend is right but if you are absolutely sure that you don't ever see yourself watching movies in surround sound; then stick to a music system.
To start I won't recommend anything from Sony. You are way better off with Philips, Panasonic or a Samsung.
PHILIPS DVD Mini Hi-Fi System FWD397 is a good option.
Please look at Panasonic SC-VK670 & SC-VK480