NAD, Adcom, Rotel will out perform the Onkyo
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I would not sweat the electronics. The speakers and your room have a much larger impact on the sound of your system. Just make sure you have adequate power to drive the speakers to the levels you desire. I'd consider warranty after that.
Onkyo seems to have a good reputation; see the Stereophile review.
I'd also consider Marantz in that price range.
Sure. I'm in the camp that believes that acoustics are the big issue with sound systems, i.e., speakers and the room. Electronics have been good enough for a long time. By that I mean they are capable of delivering a clean signal.
You can buy different sounding electronics, but unless something is broken, poorly matched or designed to simply sound different, electronics and cabling have minor impact on the sound of an audio system relative to that of speakers and the room. No matter how much you spend on electronics and cabling, the speakers are what reproduce the sound and they interact with the room.
Since I consider audible differences in electronics to be like "seasoning," the manufacturer's reputation and warranty become issues worthy of consideration. So I no longer "sweat" (worry over) the electronics. I'll also add that the user interface of a component is important to me. If I intend on using it daily, I'd like it to be pleasing rather than aggravating.
Just my view and I realize that many don't agree.