you haven't specified a budget, but in general b&k and arcam avrs have considerably better inboard amps and sound significantly better than the mass market gear. their older, non-hdmi units are great values used.
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If you are not happy with the Pio Elite lines (SC05/ SC07) or the Onkyo lines ( 876/ 906 )with your H/T application, I do not see any other products with all the new codecs and room acoustic adjustment ( be it MACC or Audyssey set up ) that will justify the $$$.
I personally own the Pio Elite lines with the Def Tech lines for my H/T and I will not look any further as far as H/T application . The Onkyo 876 also is on my short list for another H/T system in a different room. Denon products ( 4308/ 4310) are good but you will have to pay a hefty price for the same quality.
For critical 2 channel listening, it's a different ball game and I prefer to keep them separately.
I have some experience with Castle speakers, and the wonderful inversions, which ones do you have, and what wood finish? Best, most musical, and very reasonble AV receiver for these speakers is clearly a Cambridge (AZUR), google their web site, I believe places like Audio Advisor sell them sometimes on close-out I think for around $500.00. But if you have the larger ones like 50's or 100's I would buy Cambridges larger receiver. As mentioned above the B&K and Arcams, amoung other are also quite good but will be more expensive, unless used/older. And I believe the British amps will sound a little better with the British speaks anyway. Take that Cal and plug it into the cambridge with a pair of SR luminesense and your speakers and you will sit there with a smile on your face for hours....Good luck and have fun!
From your desription of the kind of sound you like, I can only echo the first response - if sound quality is your priority you need to look to Arcam (or B&K). The Castles would mate very well the Arcam.
These are truly high end pieces, built like tanks, last forever and sound great on both music and movies. You won't feel you're giving up anything when listening in music mode. They do all the HT stuff really well too of course (superbly well in fact), but they sound much closer to high end audio separates than they do AV resceivers.
I've owned a Cal player and I've owned Arcam - check out a used AVR300 or AVR350. They are in another universe soundwise from the Denons et al (and I've owned Denon too).
apparently the avr350 doesn't support hdmi audio, although it has hdmi video switching. this wouldn't be a deal-killer for me--i'm a 2ch music-first guy and generally apathetic about the endless, mind-boggling array of movie sound enhancements--i don't need neo-dolby 26v.3 jumbo-size or whatever to watch "seinfeld". ultimately, it comes down to how you're actually going to use it (no point in getting a ferrari if the only place you drive is downtown tokyo). if, as you state, your main focus is music, and you don't even have blue ray, buy the arcam (or alternatively, save the $$ and get an earlier, non-hdmi version).
knowing your sound preferences, you don't really need HDMI audio on your receiver - run the HDMI video direct from the Blu-Ray player to your Pioneer anyhoot, even though there are video HDMI inputs on the 350. You'll even get better sound for 2 channel that way.
You will love BDs on your new Pio. LOVE them. Knowing your sound preferences, you won't miss audio through HDMI for movies. Trust me on this. We old 2 channel audio folks speak a different language from the HT folks. They have different priorities than you.
You could even be happy with the Arcam AVR300.