It has been a while since I have chosen a surround processor, but have listened to a few newer ones. I have a high end Meridian. And the rules of audio completely apply to surround processors. The higher quality / less featured processors tend to sound a lot better. The designers have to put in careful work in routing the signal, the power supply, and sub component’s sonic character. All this cost money.
This signal then goes to your amps… also important. The better the signal the better the sound out of the amps.
On the other hand, when watching video you are distracted so, most folks are a bit less sensitive to nuances. But it is still really important for me.
Which number of channels you want are going to depend on how much you appreciate the directionality vs the quality of the sound. Unless, you are really wealthy there is going to be a trade off.