Is HDMI worth It in term of sound quality?

Do you think HDMI with it's uncompressed audio coding worth it? I have a budget for an old but good set of separates or a newer receiver such as the Pioneer SC27. The old separates may have better sound quality but won't have HDMI support, but I wonder if the new HDMI audio coding will compensate for the inherent inferiority of typical receiver.
Keep what you've got. HDMI is a convenience only. Going from what you have to the Pioneer will be a huge step down.
You can still take advantage of the same uncompressed audio as with HDMI provided your source can decode the new formats and have analog audio outs to your preamp. I "down graded" from an HDMI equipped low/mid level Onkyo TX-SR705 receiver to a flagship NAD T773 receiver with no HDMI. I use my Oppos multichannel audio outs to the NAD's multichannel audio ins and let the Oppo decode the new HD audio formats. I initially switched to the NAD because I wanted a flagship receiver with better overall sound when playing music. Not as convenient as HDMI but the NAD is just a better built, better sounding piece of gear than the low/mid level Onkyo.

On the flip side, the Pioneer receiver you are interested in is of very high quality(as today's receivers go) and does have just about all the modern conveniences available today.

I disagree to get 1080p you need hdmi. But most of the sources are not 1080p anyhow. It a toss up and what you need out of the system.
I love lossless codecs. Dolby Digital sounds flat and lifeless now. My system is geared towards High-Def movie playback though. Hdmi is the easiest way to get what I want.Willland makes a good point, with the right gear you can get the same results. It will cost you more money and time to achieve it though.
"Willland makes a good point, with the right gear you can get the same results. It will cost you more money and time to achieve it though."

My point was that you could get a 5 or 6 year old non HDMI flagship receiver or pre/pro for a fraction of the cost of a newer top tier HDMI piece. I paid $350.00 for a "like new" 6 year old flagship NAD T773 receiver($1799.00 new) and $100.00 for a "well cared for" B&K Reference 4430(200w/ch) 3-channel amp($1700.00 new). I also picked up my Oppo BDP-83 for $200.00. Each individually good examples of performance/cost ratio. All together, great bang for the buck to take advantage of the new HD codecs with overall very good sound quality and picture quality.

What do you as which is a better receiver - Pioneer SC35 or Arcam AVR350?
If I was going to go old school with no hdmi, I would grab a Anthem. Full bass management over analog inputs. Can grab one around $300-$600(20 or 30)

The B&K gears good too.

I wouldnt go the receiver route, but thats just me
I have a Pioneer Elite 59 DVI (DVD_a, SACD, no Blu Ray). It has an i link. I just bought a Pioneer receiver that accepts i-link (NO HDMI connections). The sound is great.
firewire will beat HDMI or any digital or analog connection everytime. I would go
that route and not worry about whether you need a receiver, seperates, etc.
Thanks for all responses. I ended up getting a used Anthem AVM20. The surround processing is fantastic, but with 2 channel music reproduction, it leaves me a bit cold. Stereo is actually very clean, nice soundstage, but I can't seem to connect with it emotionally. Is it me or Canadian stuffs tend to be a bit cold and detached? I once had a Classe DAC1 though very smooth and refine, left me a bit cold as well. I had a pair of PSB speakers and they could be cold sounding if not partner carefully. I listened to various Energy speakers and the same can be said. I am currently using a Sim Audio W3 amp and though very musical but if not partnered carefully could be lean sounding and analytical. Maybe I should find a warmer sounding amp to work with the Anthem.