2/3 of the way there. HT crash course help wanted

OK, in my continuing and brief HT crash course, I am now at this point:

Purchased: Totem Dreamcatcher 5.1 speaker system (4 identical monitors for front and surrounds, center, and powered sub). Oppo BDP95.

Need help/suggestions with amplification. Here are MY thoughts; would like to know yours:

This HT system will be used for film on DVD playback 80% of the time. 10% for CD playback via the Oppo (having an FM tuner for very occasional use would probably be nice), and 10% (I hope) for the kid's video games.

The system will go into a small/medium size space, and won't be played at terribly loud levels. This system will be used by the entire family (Aargh!:-), so, I am (reluctantly) thinking HT receiver. I am a tube guy and like a sound that is dynamic (PRAT), and full in the midrange; not lean. I know the Dreamcatchers is not a particularly full sounding system, although I like most of it's other traits. I plan on running the video directly from the Oppo to the Panasonic 60" plasma, and the audio to the receiver
or prepro via 5.1 analog connections. I want the amplification to stay under $1000.

Given what I have been able to learn about the sound of the available choices in this price range, I am so far thinking NAD receiver, or a used B&K receiver. The B&K option seems like particularly good value, so I am particularly interested in comments about B&K and also Outlaw; or .... Again, would love to keep it all as simple as possible, although would easily consider used separates as it would be nice to have sound that is not too far away from the quality of my all-tube main music system.

Thoughts/suggestions/recommendations? Thanks.
I've owned several NAD pieces over the years and they have been great products. I still have a 40wpc NAD receiver from the late 80s. Still does the job well. As you know with NAD there is plenty of headroom in the amp section and they underrate their amp power compared to others. The 40wpc NAD had more muscle and sounded better than my 80wpc Marantz receiver driving my Revel speakers in stereo.

I can't speak to B&K but another great company with another great reputation and following. Sounds like a win-win situation. Good luck.
Yes, these more "mid/hifi" type AV products can certainly be nice and clean sounding, if even "musical" sounding. As an audiophile myself over the years, I too appreciate higher quality ambitious equipment options. Problem, however, with small domestic spaces is that the acoustics pulls down what would otherwise be great sound potential, if you don't address the issues! And several of todays AV pre/pro's and receivers offer superb DSP room correction (*Aydyssey, for one), and at least good parametric EQ features. Believe me, I really wish some of the essoteric audio/videophile minded companies offered AT LEAST some kind NECESSARY EQ integration for their products! Unfortunately, this isn't the case, often. (Heck. I think Krell has only recently offered some much needed room EQ in the processors)
Either way, if you simply go with some otherwise good sounding NAD, Arcam, Oppo, etc system- that negates any type of EQ feature in the mix - half of the problem you'll be dealing with is nasty bass peaks, slap echo, and reflection smearing issues that will color the crap out of your sound quality, and make for less than accurate audiophile grade sound quality, anyway!
That all said, todays even entry level Denon's, Harman Kardon's, Pioneer's, etc, AV receivers, offer a great deal of sound performance, digital sound processing (24/196 dac's and Dolby/DTS Master,+ sound), and pretty clean preamp sections for the money!- and even better up the price chain over $1000 mark! This is something to consider. All-in-one power and processing, plus the ability to upgrade to a bit more dynamics and refinement, if you use them as a "pre/pro", and add a multi channel budet amp to run the mains and center speakers.
No, the AV receiver route isn't the end-all of sound quality. And I think any seriouis audiphile can tell you that. But, some of these AV priese, nonetheless, are still pretty clean sounding on their own, and offer SUPERB digital processing and features for next to nothing!
And when you consider how good the processing has gotten, plus the overall pre section and acceptable amp section (ok, for running speakers as "small" , anyway), the cost/$$ performance ratio- especially used - they're hard to ignore if you're simply looking for "movie sound", with occasional audio!
If, however, you do go separates, you'll get potentially better dynamic capabilities (potentially), better separation, and lower noise floor, and musicality, often. However, you get more components and wires to deal with, plus rack space, too. Separates will also usually not let you get into lots of extra - and necessary - EQ processing features, until you spend quite a bit more, typically! (something like Emotiva UmC-1 might have a working EQ, but not sure from it's history of issues). That's about the gyst of it.
I know right now, I can go buy a used Harman Kardon AVR354 for $250 range, which offers superb,clear, detailed, and punchy sound quality, attached from the digital inputs, and posibly add something like a Parasond HCA1205a for $400 amplifier, used, and get very smooth, dynamic, pretty nice detail, and warm forgiving, full sound from my system for not so much money! ...and it will sound great with your Dreamers, I'm certain.
Yes, and there's lots of other amp options, receiver or preamp options, for similar results!
The AV receiver route, especially considering you are running your Dreamies at 80hz (yes, 80!) crossover, ideally, is gunna get you most of the way there with so many of the used AV receiver choices you'll find of late on the market! In fact, I'm sure you'd be more than happy, with some $1000 (*or less) used 2010-2012 model Denon to match the sonic characteristics of your speaker, and also offer GREAT digital processing and Aydyssey room correction!..plus you can add a better amplifier section later, if you really care to upgrade the power later. Some more thoughts.
Thats what I have to say, anyway. Since your mostly movies, then the stronger Denon can definitely give you all of what you'll need to make the Totems sound PLENTY good, and also includes the features you'll need (yes, I'll take Audyssey - or at least parametric EQ - over simply possibly a bit more pure sounding components, WITHOUT DSP room eq capabilities, yes!!), the latest digital DAC's, video switching (if you change your mind), analog pre-amp outputs, etc.
So, anyway, my first thoughts for a small/medium sized room is "how can I fix the acoustics" -after I work on setup/speakers and seating placements. Then, I'll figure what I have to spend to get the features I need, all while looking for more audiohile grade purity if I can.
Hope this helps
Thanks for the great responses; very helpful. Any thoughts on the B&K 307. At today's used prices ($500 or so) it seems like an extraordinary value. I have owned B&K two channel gear and can't believe that this receiver would not beat the pants off any NAD sound wise. While no Audessey, it has parametric eq capability.
if music were the priority, i'd opt for the b&k (or alternatively something like an arcam avr300)--they're sonically on another level than the mass-market avrs. however, since you indicate you'll be 80% movies, avgoround's advise is sound--a current hk, denon or yamaha w/room correction and the latest codecs is probably the way to go. hk tends to have more robust amp sections.
If you are looking for additional brands for receivers--especially room correction--then you should seriously consider Integra and Anthem. Anthem comes with the best room correction because you get both a professionally calibrated microphone and the ARC system. The Integra also comes with the top of the line Audyssey, however, the microphone is not a professionally calibrated one and if you want that extra level, the cost is about $500 for that. Those would be my top two choices for receivers.

I personally have Anthem equipment in my main setup and cannot say enough good and positive things about it. Bullet-proof build construction, stellar tech support (can't emphasize this enough), and products that perform well beyond their peers.