Second for Audio Classics; they're one of the best around for Mc gear. I have had issues with 2 different Mc A/V items: An ancient MAC-3 pre/pro and an MVP 881 BR (the 881 saga is in the archives here if you want to look it up).
On the MAC-3, I sent it in for a refurb at A-C shortly after I purchased it because it had a lot of detail issues (bulbs out, dirty and a funky processor selector switch). They quickly got it up to snuff and turned it right around. Worked fine for 4 years then started having an intermittent processor failure. Back to A-C; that time it took awhile for them to find some cracked solder joints on the motherboard and a bad prong on one of the processors. Fixed them, been working fine ever since. Not exactly a bargain, but I don't want to commit to the 7.1 or newer standard yet (too much cubic $$$).
In the process of all this, I've spoken with Ryan @ A-C several times and also with a couple of different engineers at Mc. The crux of the matter is that the A/V codes change very quickly, and sometimes so quickly that even "current" tech can be obsolete less than a year after it was introduced. Accordingly, the chip manufacturers and firmware writers push the ragged edge on the QA process so they can sell at least enough to pay for set-up before they have to start over. Mc buys good chips, but stuff does happen. That's also why they don't offer the "trade-up" program on HT gear.
From my perspective and considering my investment level, I'm satisfied because HT is not the primary function of my system. Even with the (very bizarre and isolated) issue with my 881, that was purchased primarily for its 2 channel audio quality. Which was never a concern; the problem was all in the video.
Accordingly, you're going to have to decide how you want to proceed. An "obsolete" rig like a MX135 or 136 might be a more value oriented choice, or you could look at Marantz, Krell, Cary or similar instead. I can't speak to their serviceability but suspect they may have some of the same HT issues. FWIW, I looked at the MX120 and MX150 when I was configuring my system as possible single-box solutions. I was very unimpressed with the 2 channel performance of the 120 when I auditioned it and the 150, while better, just wasn't enough better to justify the money.
A final point on "authorized" Mc service centers: Don't waste your time. In most cases, they're merely authorized for simple warranty repairs and firmware updates. If they get into something that's complicated, they either give up or send it into Mc. A-C knows what they're about and also know when to send it into the factory. And they tell you about it before doing it.
Your call either way, but hopefully my 2 cents will help. Good luck and happy listening!