I threw down my $800 for a Marantz SR 7000 after comparing it to similarly-priced Yamaha and Dennon models. However, the 7000 has now been replaced by the 7200 (I think) which, by all accounts, is packed with a lot more whistles and bells (it might even be a 7 channel dealie) at the expense of its ability to play just plain old music and such. At the time (a year ago?), the Marantz was considered (by many, including me) to be the most musical in the price range, but with the modification to the 7200 there are a lot of folks who have rethought that one (I haven't heard it, so I really couldn't say). One more thing you should definitely consider are the offerings from Outlaw Audio. I didn't get a chance to listen to any of them before I bought the Marantz, but I wish I had. (I should also admit that I listen to 2 channel stuff and my main speakers are always driven by a much fancier, dedicated 2 channel system -- so the Marantz only pulls duty as a processor and to power the rears and center channel. I was stuck with its amp section driving the main speakers for about two weeks while my main amp was at the doctor for a checkup, and, as much as the Marantz does the trick for HT whistles and bells, it was in no way up to the task of making a pair of Thiels go in any respectable manner). Just my two cents.