I agree everyone is going to have their own opinions, however, when it comes to the basics of a successful marine setup, you will find a lot of consistencies. These include heavy protein skimming, live rock, and the proper depth of aragonite sand. There may be some small differences in the extras, such as the use of a UV Sterilizer or refugium. But you would be hard pressed to find experienced hobbyists who do not use these 3 items as the foundation of their success. (The only exception might be algae scrubbers, but these are not very popular in the U.S.)
In my opinion the best research is to read "build" threads and "tank of the month" type columns. These are generally found in the "pictures and videos" section. On this forum, the follow build threads are by experienced hobbyists who visit regularly: http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-f...f-build-21979/ http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-f...s-build-19093/ http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-f...f-build-20018/ http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-f...und-2-a-20611/ http://www.fishforum.com/saltwater-f...ef-diary-2790/
There are very many more that you will find if you browse the threads. These are just the ones that I have personally visited the most and enjoyed reading.
You will also benefit from certain web sites. You can tell the ones that are just trying to sell you something from the ones that are for informational purposes. Here are a couple that I really enjoy and visit frequently. I suggest reading the Tank of the Month columns. Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine - Volume IV 2008 Monthly Index - Reefkeeping Magazine
This one is my personal favorite. The past issues are easy to browse and you can learn a TON from reading the Tank of the Month articles. There are 8 years archived, so I would guess there are at least 80 tanks that you can read up on.
As you do this, I challenge you to find a single person who uses a biowheel system. In fact, you will probably not find a single person who uses a biological filter of any kind, other than live rock.-)
As for books, I suggest going to the local library and checking out "The Reef Aquarium" by Jullian Sprung and Charles Delbeck. It is a 3 part series. Keep in mind, regardless of the type of aquarium you want, be it fish, fish and invert, fish only with live rock, or reef... they all follow the same basic principles and should be set up the same way. The only real difference is lighting.
For magazines, I personally subscribe to Aquarium Fish Magazine, Aquarium Fish International, and Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine (FAMA).
Finally, do yourself a favor and read some articles by Randy Holmes Farley. He is the worlds expert on chemistry in the marine aquarium. You especially need to understand alkalinity, calcium, pH, and magnesium and how they all relate to each other.
That should help.-)