My suggestion is to try a used Arcam AVR-350 first. I have owned several integrated amps at around the prices you are looking and the AVR-350 is right up there with the best of them sonically on 2CH, seriously. I was skeptical and the reviews seem a bit over the top but one listen and I knew it really was something special despite my reservations. I used to run a Rotel 1055 as a pre with several integrateds to bring up the 2CH performance. Now, to have a truly great pre-processor, multi channel amp and DAC along with the superb 2CH sonics is just simply icing. The ease of use and the savings on cables is also notable. Put the money saved in to a great source and you'll be in musical bliss. Remember, ANY amp is only as good as the source. So many of us try to get a great speaker and amp and run them from a good budget cd player or DVD player. Don't do that, get a great source if you really want top 2CH performance. BTW, the integrateds I have owned are the Bryston B100SST, Unison Unico, Plinius 8200, Nait 5i, Exposure 2010S. All have merits, don't get me wrong but with the ability to bi-amp at 125w for the fronts alone, plus a balanced open and clean presentation, you will have all the power you need but also with that, open, solid sound that only mid to higher end units provide. It really is as good as stated in my opinion and I would own it for the price just for the 2CH sonics. Buy it used, compare it to the Pioneer all around, if you don't like it, sell it for what you paid as it's current and in demand. I think you'd be suprised at the difference. Good luck with whatever with you decide.