Looking to downgrade...possibly

Hi. Been around this corner of the woods for a couple days now. Great site and forum.

I have had my current system for many years. Growing tired of the huge rack of components and cables...

My mid high-end system:
Rotel Tuner and Rotel 3 separate amps for 5.1 surround
Acurus ACT-3 Proc(w/o bass chip upgrade)
Vandersteen VCC-1 center, 2Ce fronts, and M&K rears
Sony DVP-C650D (I know it's old and probably cr@p and would like to upgrade to a single DVD cartridge solution)
Directv HD Rec
Audioquest and Straightwire interconnects (cheap toslink for Directv HD and Cardas 75 ohm cable for DVD player), Tara Labs Phase II Bi-wire Sp Cables

I am reading reviews about AV Receivers. I would love a all-in-one great sounding solution for under $1500 to part with the tuner, amps, and proc. The Marantz SR8500, an equiv Denon, HK seems to be the way to go. I would like a seemless solution to integrate the PC/MP3 playback and THX cert DD with HDMI switching. Am I a glutten for downgrading? I don't seem to only listen to my home system for HT rather than 2-ch stereo nowdays.

That said, this site seems to be great place to sell used equipment, something I would probably do if I buy new gear. Would I be successful selling my used gear here?
I would look at Arcam, B & K, and Rotel Receivers. In that order.

You may have to forgo HDMI switching (I find it useless any way, as I only have two video sources. One is Component and the other is HDMI)
It may be worthwhile purchasing a one month memebership to the bluebook feature here on Audiogon to get a feel for the market value of your components.
I heard a friend's B&K driving sensitive Reimer Teton GS loudspeakers. It sounded very, very good.
I would put the Yamaha RXV2700 on the list. For H/T very hard to be by any other receiver. It has a great deal of built in video processing (true processing not just switching) built in up through HDMI making it very flexible as a hub. Even phono stage although I haven't messed with that yet to compare. Plenty of built in power for most although I still drive my front 3 with outboard amps. Nice piece.
Thanks. I will definitely look at the bluebook. The Arcam and B&K are a bit out of my price range. The Rotel didn't get great reviews that I read.

I like the Denon AVR 4306 or the Marantz SR8001.
I'll look into the Yamaha Sailfish. I think I may just keep my Rotel main amp (870B) just in case because the center and rears shouldn't be a problem for a receiver of this caliber to handle (I can always sell it after I confirm the choice too). That way I can sell my smaller amps, tuner, and ACT-3 and save some space and heat.

I am also looking for a very good inexpensive DVD player. I hear the Denon 3910 is a good one.

And, one more thing, has anyone actually improved sound quality with a better optical cable? Is it money worth spending (~$80 or so) for the upgrade or just a bunch of propaganda?

I would not use the optical digital out from your cd/dvd player. Coaxial digital cables usually have better sonic qualities.
I went ahead and bought a Tara Labs Prism 200dx ($50) for my Directv receiver. Not too expensive and it should be an upgrade to the standard ones. I didn't want to shell out a ton for a marginal difference at best.

I will keep my Cardas digital cable for my DVD until I get a new player. It's a fairly old cable but highly recommended in Stereophile but I'm sure they are built a tad better today.
check out the denon 2930ci
If you select a Denon, last years model and this years are the same with sound quality. Only differences are set-ups, switching and possibly SS effects.

Having found my 3 year never used AVR3802 (moved several times over the past couple of years), I plugged it in place of my testing of a 3806 and there is absolutely no sound difference in stereo or HT. You can get these Denon receivers for under $500 (mine included).

But if you really want to get excellent sound from an all-iin-one, go with the B&K 507 S2. This is a bit high for the budget, but in my auditioning (including Rotel, Denon, and Arcam), I found it to be the best considerably for stereo with Arcam a close second. HT it and the Arcam were very close.