Home theatre sound systm: NAD, B&W,alon, B&K

Need help in selecting home theatre sound system. I currently have a Velodyne ULD-15 sub and would like to select a receiver and speaker set-up under $2,500. Would like a 7.1 receiver to expand into a patio sound system in summer. Your assistance in selecting receiver and speaker combination is needed
Having recently purchased a B&K 507 S2 7.1 channel receiver to set up a combined stereo and HT system, I must say I am completely happy with this receiver.

After having moved too many times in recent years, I was able to do an in home demo between the new Denon 3800 and the B&K 507 (relatively big difference in price). I had previously purchased a Denon 3802 three years ago, but the moving started before ever hooking it up, never ran it and thought I had sold it.

I started with the Denon at 1/3 the price for a week and was actually fairly pleased with it for HT. Less happy for stereo, though. Good but felt I could get more (speakers are B&W). Wanted to try to run the pre-out for the main speakers through a tubed amp (GTA SE 40) to see if this would help. In going into the storage room, I found my unused Denon 3802, so I was able to compare the two Denons - exactly the same sound only difference was in the setting up of the HT.

About a week and half later I put the B&K in and personally noticed the improvement immediately, even before any real break-in period (on stereo). The B&K remote is light years ahead of the Denon. Set-up on the newest Denon is a bit easier, but the B&K can be done in about an hour and I feel you can taylor it better to your likes, etc. . . Plus it has easy "non-binding" quick changes via the remote without having to into the program menu which is very nice.

The real kicker for me was when my wife came in (this is my true love who wants invisible speakers and no wires in site! She immediately commented that she liked the sound of the B&K better, which is a huge statement from her. I didn't have the heart to tell he the price difference or she would have commented that the cost wasn't worth it.

Needless to say, I have the B&K over the Denon. I auditioned the Rotels and thought they were slightly better than the Denon, but no match for the B&K.

My personal reasoning:

B&K pros:
noticeably better stereo sound
significantly better imaging and sound staging (deeper, wider, taller)
tighter bass (discounting the sub)
better at handling complex tracks
huge plus for the remote
upgradeable via the internet for new firm/software
e-mail questions to the manufacturer answered the same day in detail for technical questions - this is a truly great company to work with

Denon pros and comments:
Good midfi HT receiver
Solid receiver that can be purchased used easily at good pricing (from my experience, the 3 year old model had absolutely no loss versus the current model, other than HDMI output and possibly one surround mode)
If you listen in stereo via moderately good speakers, I think you will be giving up some sound qualities for critical listening (but that is not important for a lot of people considering HT systems)

B&K is a strong recommendation (not sure if I am 100% sold on the notch filter capabilities or not yet, but everything else has been beyond my expectations).

Denon 3800 Series - A good solid receiver that you won't be dissapointed in in the long run and the second zone stereo for a deck purpose will be fine. Mine will go back into storage or will sell.

Rotel (more limited demo and not in-home) was to me not a significant enough of an upgrade over the Denon and I have read too many reliability issues with the Rotels to feel comfortable with them (to many unfixable humming or noise issues for my comfort level).

BOL and enjoy your search.