Fatman iTube Carbon or an A/V receiver for audio

Hello, new to these forums.

I recently purchased a Fatman Itube Carbon ( http://www.fat-man.co.uk/docs/product_07/iTube_ValveDock_Carbon_Edition_2.shtml ) and picked up a set of Infinity P162 speakers. The system does what it says and sounds quite decent for small room listening. Overall a nice system but after reading through some forums, i feel as though i could get more for my money (550-600). For instance, I am somewhat disappointed in the lack of inputs and outputs: 2 rca inputs, one 1/8 input, no digital inputs. S video output that only works with videos that you have on your ipod (i've yet to get this to work properly). No headphone out!

My original intentions in purchasing the system was to have a quality listening setup for my rather "cozy (13 ' 17)" condo living room. I was planning to use lossless files on my laptop tied in with airport express. The itube doesn't have a digital input and i have recently read horrid reviews about the analog out on the airport express.

So therefore, if i wanted quality sound from the system, i'd have to leave my iphone docked...which can be such a nuisance.

To make a long story short... I'm very confused at the moment as to what to do about the system. My current needs are mainly to have a quality 2 channel setup for my living room with the possibility of future expansion. I have limited experience with audio equipment. In fact, I was not aware that A/V receivers could be used for a 2 channel setup. I have a few questions and would greatly appreciate any help.

1. Will a receiver like the Denon AVR-2308CI provide me with similar or better listening experiences when compared with a valve amp such as the Fatman iTube

2. How would you setup the receiver so that all the power is dedicated to the 2 channel system (with a subwoofer)

3. Would the receiver appropriately drive a high impedance set of headphones such as the HD580s 300 ohm

4. Please recommend a quality receiver used or new in the 400-500 price range.
There are several "stereo" receivers that you might consider (each offer 2-channel bass management):

Outlaw RR2150

Harman Kardon HK 3390

Onkyo TX-8555

I can't comment on what you consider "better" comparing any of these to your current gear.

In general, dollar-for-dollar a 2-channel receiver might yield better sonics than an A/V receiver since there's fewer channels to implement. On the other hand, some A/V receivers have automatic room mode correction which might be an advantage in your room.
I have an iTube Carbon in my office. I must say that I am extremely impressed with how EXTREMELY CHEAPLY it is made. For a living room system, I would personally look elsewhere, for an office system the iTube Carbon edition is merely adequate, nothing more (I am sad to say).
I have been using the original Fatman iTube for awhile in a small room away from my "main" (and expensive) bigger rig.

Sound quality wise, it is hard to fault this system as I don't think you can do better up to 1k.

I also needed digital inputs and almost went to the equivalent amp from Dared with the usb input - but I did want to retain the Fatman's cool looks.

I ended up getting a Dacmagic and now have 3 digital inputs to choose from from usb to coax to optical.

Remember that with the Fatman itube's dock, you have full ipod remote as well as bass treble control.

Hard to beat in this price category.