McIntosh .... bang for the buck ... I need help

I'm really stuck at confusing point. I've checked out lots, and read lots on the reviews of various amps, and then cross-checked that against the pre-amp and amp combination systems... and here's where I need a true experts help.

I was at a high-end audio shop today, and he was truly trying to sell me on a Rotel RSX1562 amplifier/receiver for my home audio system. Now I would say that I use the system for movies about 60% of the time, and music about 40% of the time. My wife (yeah guys.... wife of all people) wasn't sold on the Rotel. It's selling for almost $3,000 and she's not convinced it would keep us happy in the long run. I'm not too sure either at this point. We don't want to be up in the $6,000+ range on a receiver, but need it for B&W CM9' fronts, CM Center 2, and the CM1 rears (plus the sub). She's hooked on the sound of McIntosh, but they've moved away from the integrated receiver and amplifier systems. Hence, we'd be looking at over our budget to accommodate the McIntosh systems of today.

Here's where I'm confused.. and this part needs clarification. While at the store today, the salesguy told us they had a customer return and upgrade (something they offer customers... if you buy any of their products, you can upgrade to a newer receiver and get what you paid for your first piece back in full credit towards the new product), a McIntosh receiver/amplifier combination. A couple years old, and it was the last series they made before splitting the system into a stand-alone system. I can't remember the model number, but it's not too terribly old. I think it might be the MHT100 or MHT200... but like I said not sure (maybe somebody here knows if that could be correct). He told me it was an amazing system, but for home theatre use, it doesn't accommodate HDMI at all, and probably should still consider the Rotel. I'm not too sure thats a big deal... or is it?

I have a Sony BluRay player that has optical audio, analog and HDMI out.
Apple TV 3rd Generation... has Optical audio out and HDMI out.
Motorola Internet TV .... has Optical audio, analog, and HDMI out.

If indeed it is the MHT100 or 200, would this amplifier/receiver combo be ok for my system?? I'm not too worried about the video switching, as I would have the HDMI go into my TV for video, then let the Amplifier/Receiver do the work for the audio. The sales guy says its a pain to switch multiple components, but then again it was done in the past obviously... where the difference is that I could program an expensive Logitech Harmony Remote to do all that for me.

For $3500, does this sound like a better option than the Rotel amplifier?

Or is there a better solution that you can help give me on an efficient McIntosh system?

I appreciate the help.
I haven't personally listened to the MHT100 (that's the correct model number, and one in very nice shape is listed on A-goN out of Edina MN @ $2500 from a dealer - you can look it up). However, it is not what most folks would consider a "traditional" Mc and I suspect you would find the sound only OK and the resale value modest. It is also more than "a couple of years" old. More like 5 or 10. You should do some searches and find a bunch more info on it just to be confident you understand what it's all about.

I believe your wife has a gifted ear. Rotel makes decent stuff, but when my wife and I auditioned a Rotel CD unit versus a McIntosh MVP861, she immediately exclaimed "even I can hear the difference!" Look up my system and you'll see where we ended up going. It has been my experience that when you have China-o-fi versus hi-fi, hi-fi wins every time no matter where it's made (Quad being an example of hi-fi made in China, IMO).

Under the circumstances, you may want to rethink your approach and consider separates. HDMI throughput in the preamp section is convenient, but not essential. Most displays have multiple HDMI inputs, so you can use the HDMI to run A/V directly from your various sources to the display and use the optical or S/PDIF from the player/satellite/cable to get the sound to the surround system. That means the MX134 or 135 can do the surround lifting while also having solid 2 channel ability. Amplification can be a single multichannel or 2 stereo + 1 mono units for 5.1, and you have a whole world of choices there. The B&W CM series speakers aren't power pigs like some of the others they make, so you can be more modest with power to start and then work your way up as budget allows.

Just my 2 cents. The most important thing is to have fun - if you're stressing out on it, you're doing something wrong. Good luck!
Effischer... THANK YOU for your feedback. So if I could use your expertise on the matter, and knowing I want to stick to a McIntosh system, what do you think from the online auction A-goN has going would be a good setup of going with separates? Or maybe, you can help me build a package with something you see fit (help with Model Numbers too please) as I'm not 100% sure of where to go. I've read lots of forums, lots of notes, and it seems there is an overwhelming amount of personal opinions (which is great), but when it comes to what I'm looking for.... I think I need to explain it to someone and have their expert help. Whenever you got to a store, they sell you what they want you to buy (i.e.: biggest margin, biggest kick-back, most incentive ... etc etc etc)

So since you're not going to "gain" anything except helping someone online (which is in itself a huge perk if ya ask me)... I'd appreciate your help building the system you see fit.

((I Don't have a high-end CD player, as recently all my CD's were stolen, and I only have them on iTunes.)) hence, you've seen my setup up top for what I need to put back into a TV if you see a pre-amp that allows HDMI.

Per A-goN rules, had to send you a PM to answer your questions. Went out this morning.