Today's mini-systems are the best ever - modern technology allows manufacturers to make mini Hi-Fis to a much higher quality than used to be possible in the past, so you'll be amazed how good some of the minis listed below sound. However, it's important to remember that the same miniaturisation techniques can be applied to modern full-sized separates to make them far less bulky, yet far better sounding than full-sized systems of the past.
It's also important to remember that whist full-sized separates are 17 inches wide, they are still only a few inches tall, yet they comprehensively outperform the huge separates systems of yesteryear, as well as blowing any mini system completely out of the water. In many instances, these full-width separates systems also boast the same convenience level as their 'all-singing-all-dancing' Mini system brothers, so you get performance and connectivity. Central to this is the ability to interface with modern storage devices, such as iPods, iPads, USB sticks, NAS drives and PC hard drives, either via Ethernet cabling, or via wireless Ethernet or via bluetooth. When used in this way, the iPod's (or PC's) sound is greatly enhanced, because its output runs through the Hi-Fi's audiophile-grade digital to analogue conversion circuitry, which is far superior to the circuitry found inside an iPod or PC.
With modern technology on your side, whether you go for an all-in-one mini system, or a full-width separates system, you're on to an absolute winner, these days!