More expensive receiver vs. cheaper one with amp

I recently sold my pro-logic setup so I could utilize digital connections for my components. I do have a Denon 2801 receiver that I have been using with my klipsch speakers. I don't really find this receiver to be that musical, better than my old db940 sony but much less than that of the Onkyo SV-90 that I just sold. I can purschase one of the following-AMC R9 for $360 (100x5), Marantz SR5000 $288 (70x5), NAD 751 $459 (60x5), or an Outlaw 1050 ($499 I missed out on the used one posted today). My budget is really about $360 but I could stretch it to $500 if I had too. My dilema is this-do I spend the money on the NAD or the Outlaw or buy the Marantz or AMC and then buy a used 2 channel amp such as the Adcom 545 II or the Nad 216 thx? The price spent would be about the same in the end. I listen to a lot of music on this system via a Denon 560 changer watch TV and movies via DVD and digital cable. I listen to music more than movies. I currently have b&w bookshelfs and will expand the rest of my speakers in this brand. Thanks in advance for you comments.
it sounds like you will be slowly bettering your system as time and funds permit.? i would go for the amp run through you pre out on denon. this will give you more flexability in the future. as for your amp choices....get the one that sounds best to you. someone else might have another idea about your amp choices.



I'd go with a separate amp, more flexible in the future. In my experience, receivers end up as outdated paperweights.

So if I did go with a amp, here are my choices-Rotel RB985 mk 1 5X100, Parasound HCCA855 5X80, or Adcom 7300 5X60. I think that I can get the adcom for $350 and still be around by budget till I can get a true pre/pro. What your thoughts. I would have Denon 2801 as pre, Klipsch KG4 as front, Klipch KV3 as Center, and Klipsch KG1.2 as rear. I also have b&w bookshelfs that at some point I would like to get all b&w and put the klipsch in the living room.

I, too, would go with the inexpenive receiver as a pre/pro, and add a quality outboard multichannel power amp. Yeah the preamp sections of many receivers aren't the best, but I think the power amp portion of most receivers is the limiting factor in a lot of people's setups (barring poorly placed speakers in the room). That way you can mate an outbaord power amp to you speakers, in your room. so when you go to buy a new pre/pro down the road, you don't have to repurchase another power amp stage (a la a new receiver). You just swap pre/pros.