What steps should I take to make my HTPC more efficient?

So here's how I have done it for years:
I take my blu-ray and rip it/encode it on my general usage PC.
Then I take an external USB hard drive, copy the encoded file and go to my HTPC and paste it there on the internal hard drives
Then I simply run an HDMI cable to my receiver and use XBMC with a wireless remote


Is there an easier/more efficient way than this?
Is streaming 1080p/dts HD files via some sort of server an actual viable option? If so, how should I go about achieving that?
Is there an easy, quick (cordless) way of transferring my blu-ray rips from my general usage PC to my HTPC?

I feel like I'm doing it all wrong lol.  How/where do you guys store your files?