PS3 for BluRay, compatability, PQ, audio

Okay so let me start off saying that I'm in Australia, and the prices are different here. So keep that in mind... anyways. I was going to spend over $200 on a Samsung Blu ray player, and started thinking, for $300 I could get a PS3 which can play blu ray. I'm mostly going to be using it for blu ray (at least until I could afford any games or anything), so I'm most concerned with its functionality as a blu ray player. I've heard the picture quality is pretty good (but as good as standalone player?) but I've heard the audio quality is worse. I'm spending $800 on a hi-fi surround sound system so I need to know I'll be able to use it at its full capacity. No point in having a $800 sound system you can't even use. Here's the TV and hi-fi system I'm getting:

So to make this easy to respond to:

1) Does the PS3 match standalone Blu ray players in picture quality, functionality, etc?
2) Can the PS3 handle hi-fi audio (basically meaning, read it from the disc and transfer to the hi-fi receiver)?
3) Are there any benefits to either the PS3 or a standalone player that maybe I'm not thinking of?
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