Obviously for HT I would go Solid-state (I would usually always go solid-state, but since its five channels hopefully anyone would agree its just as well w/out any fight). Amps are amps over the years (technology doesn't really go obselete there, although designs do get better and some parts go out of production) so you might be able to find a nice 5 channel on closeout, demo, used something like that and then pick the processor you really want for features, flexibility, etc. Separate amps will give you flexibility and you could even do a 3 channel and a 2 channel for the rears. Ideally you want equal power to all five speaker, but if you are running your rears without the full bass content (high pass filtered which many processors have) they won't need as much power and you can get by with a smaller amp and nothing will suffer-since the bass sucks up alot of the power and it is debateable the benefits of surround sound bass in most listening rooms-although I can't speak from experience since I'm not a HT junky. Check alot of high-end dealers closeout/demo pages can sometimes snag a good deal and then here on agon. Not to mention, if you have seperate amps, if something new happens with surround and processor and you want to upgrade, you still have your amps and your only out a processer. Amps can be hidden away from the main compoenent rack to minimize cable runs and so they are ventilated better. And generally the performance of seperates is superior to a receiver. Highcurrent, high voltage devices like amps don't mix well in the same box and low voltage low current devices like preamps.