I would thought the main requirements are simplest possible operation. The lesser the buttons and selectors should be better! You probably should enclosure all those components in a nice box, and put on just a power button and a volume knob. That's it.
Without being gender, I never found woman who really cares about Hi-Fi and how they works? I mean, they do enjoy how it sounds, but they never seems to care much or findout out something better.
That is, unless she really cared about sound quality, an integrated system with CD audio and MP3 (+FLAC?) would probably do better.
Yeah, I forgot to say the budget is near £700-£1000. Stand or Desktop speakers both ok, no need surround effect, mainly use to listen Classic and New Age, sometime pop... Use both CD Players and iPod. Sorry for ask a so general questions...
That's a nice budget, which will get you something like an Arcam Solo Mini or a separates system like the Marantz 6003 pair, plus some excellent speakers. I'd probably faour the Arcam for the musical genres you mention.
Richer Sounds in particular have great package deals, to which you could add a separate iPod dock if required.