Meridian 861 users--how do you do it?

The other day I spotted some referances to the Meridian 861 digital surround controller. Several of you stated that this was included in your 'ultimate' package and that you were not inclined to go any further. Today, I visited a local Meridian Distributer and the system seemed quite nice, especially when hooked up to the DSP8000 speakers. I like the idea of modular upgrades.

Question: What are your experiences with this system and does it do everything you want it to? What do you use to compliment it? Why? I have the Audio Aero Capitole Cd player so I am not interested in enhancing my 2-channel signal. the Merician digital speakers intrigue me, but must I use them all at once, or can I find a way to incorporate analog speakers into the mix, at the same time.
With the 861, you can mix Meridian DSP and standard amp/speaker channels with the appropriate plug-ins.
So, Kr4--This was the question I asked the salesman. He could not answer it. Are you saying that I can set up a 5 or 7 speaker combination running both analog and DSP? This is while watching the same movie.....
Assuming you are listening to one program, yes. In the setup, you specify each channels output (which port) and speaker (DSP vs. conventional, size, range, etc.)
BTW, I suggest you get in touch with Meridian USA to determine exactly what modules/configurations you need for this since your salesman (Meridian certified?) doesn't know.
I am also interested in anybody's input---whatsoever--on the 861. Are you using the multi-zone functions? I understand the 861 doesn't do progressive scanning; it is more of an audiocentric system. Any thoughts, opinions whatsoever are appreciated.

If you have a story about how you solved a particular problem, that would be interesting, too.
I use the 861v3 with the 598 dvd-A and sony XA 777ES for sacd.,and analogue 5.1 system of JM Utopias and Rel.Great system and it does have progressive scan but you need the right card. Highly recommended processor if you are an audio fanatic.
Thank you. Have you used the multiple zone packages?