I am still impressed with the 9.8 but have never heard the Rotel.
I have an Onkyo 905 receiver that I use as a processor only. I have B&W 800 series all around with high end everything else. I have shared your same concern that something so "cheap" could be so good.
I have purchased, compared and then sold-- a Lexicon MC12, and a Halcro SSP-200 -- my 905 simply blew each away in sound quality & ease of use:-)