This Sherbourn PT-7030 is a very nice preprocessor - costs $999 and has a 5 year warranty:
How much stereo music listening vs. film viewing do you do? Instead of upgrading your pre-pro, which will once again soon be obsolete, consider what I did. I went with a cheap, but up-to-date AVR (the top of the Pioneer standard line two years ago), for $500. I went with a separate, 2-channel preamp for music listening. Only video and surround sources go through the Pioneer, with 2-channel sources going direct from the 2-channel preamp to the amp. A pre-out set of cables takes the front main channels from the AVR to the stereo preamp. For the money, the Pioneer sounds surprisingly good, especially with external amplification (I only use the internal amps in the Pioneer for the surround channels). I doubt any pre-pro you could get for under $1000 would offer the sonics and flexibility of the Pioneer. I would also consider adding surrounds and subs, especially for film viewing.
He is just trying to make a sale. The Marantz AV7005 is a very good unit, and anything new at your budget or less will just have newer features. For a better sound you would need to spend substantially more. Your biggest improvement for movies would be to add surrounds that match your SF Liuto towers.