Receiver Help for Neophite

I was hoping you guys could help me... I'm trying to build a complete HT System for under 2K. Low budg, I know... I'm looking at Marantz SR-5200, or 7200, as well as Denon 2802/3802. Could anyone give an opinion? I would like DTS/6.1/at least 90 wpc... all under $700 new or used. What do ya think?
Denon 2802's HT performance is very good. For music only CD playback, it is fair. As for the FM tuner, it is poor. I am using the Denon with AR 302 speakers (Front) and the matching AR center channel; SONY 560 DVD; Music Hall CD player. Overall, I am disappointed with the Denon. I had upgraded from the Onkyo 434 and quite frankly, I prefer the Onkyo to the Denon. It was a clearer and cleaner sounding receiver. If I were doing it again, I would consider the Onkyo 595 or the Outlaw ($600 range list - new).
Dont worry about the wattage...90 really isnt as different from 60 as you might assume. Many of the more seasoned audiophiles here have recommended the outlaw audio. I haven't heard it since you have to order it on line, but they seem to have gotten pretty good reviews. I myself, blew my $$$ on a better 2 channel + sub HT and I can assure you that I am in far more bliss than I would be if I had to buy 150% more speakers and amplification for the same $. I vote for a good integrated amp, dvd player & better speakers.
Thanks for your help! I'll look into Outlaw...
I use an Onkyo 777 for home theater and I think it is great. 105w per channel @8ohms, only 5.1 though. I bought it about 1 1/2 year ago. B stock (no fear) paid $500. I also didn't have a large budget and used JBL control 25's as my fronts and rears. These are small wall mountable indoor/outdoor speakers that will do HT better than anything in their price range(I think they were about 300pr). I added a cheap sub and JBL S-center channel. For DVD I bought a Toshiba SD-5109 prog. scan again B stock for $500. Total cost was about 1900 + wire and cables.
I have since upgraded the sub, center and fronts, but this was for me, a great starting point. Not sure if you'll find much of this type equipment here (audiogon) though.
Listen to the Psychic...

If you go for the Outlaw you will have money left to invest in a line conditioner ( for your DVD player, VCR and TV ), a few Highwire Wirewraps and decent interconnects, speaker cable and audio grade power cords. Don't skimp on these--your system will sound at least 50% better.

You can do very well by buying Radio Shack combined audio/video cables ($10.99 for a 1m set of three) for your component output of your DVD, if it's a short run. They are working very well in my Sony WEGA, with no bleeding of the reds, as it is supposed to happen on cheap cables.

I would advise you not to buy your cables and interconnects at Circuit City or similar--you'll get ripped off. Search the posts and you will find decent options. For example, I use Absolute Power Cords, which for $50 are a great buy. I read here that Audioquest made a 'figure 8' power cord like the ones DVD players use.

Last but not least, get a bottle of Pro Gold ($10-12), some Blue Tack, a few Vibrapods and some remnant shelves from IKEA to mount your components. To give you an example, I have my DVD player under my TV. The DVD player rests on four Vibrapods which in turn sit on a $2.50 MDF shelf I bought at IKEA. There's some Blue Tack under each corner to anchor the shelf to the TV table. Mounting a DVD player like this is cheap and really improves picture and sound quality.

There's a lot of cheap DIY projects in this link:

Take your time, look at the pictures and find out what works best for you.

I must respectfully disagree somewhat with the Psychic (but then, you already knew I would ;-)

If you must build the entire HT system for under $2k you really can't afford a lot for wires, cables, interconnects, etc. And the cabling can be very component-dependant, so I'd have the "boxes" I love first, then optimize the cabling for each of them. Put more into the basic component quality, and by all means consider buying used to stretch your funds. Electronics depreciate rapidly - you could buy a former top-flight receiver for a third of what it sold for a few years ago - and speakers are routinely available at 50-70% of list.
As far as specific receiver recommendations, it depends whether you must have all the latest surround formats (EX, DPL II, etc) or if basic DD & dts will suffice. Also, how many digital sources do you anticipate? The Outlaw, while a fine value, has only 2 digital inputs. Sure you could add something like the MSB Digital Director, but would be better off with the same money in a better receiver. Also, how important is music vs movies? At any modest price point, I've found the most musically-satisfying receivers (to my ears) from Nakamichi, Newcastle, and NAD.

Obviously, there are a plethora of good options and opinions out there.
The Psychic is also one of the Kings of Bargains...

I have successfully blended CAT5 and Carol silver plated copper speaker cables--it's a 30 ft run and it sounds fine for less than $60. They are both relatively inexpensive. I use Radio Shack "audio/video cables" for my DVD-TV hookup with excellent results ($10.99 for 1 m). Right now there's a Tice A/V Solo like the one I own in the Audiogon classifieds for $220 and a Monster 1000 for $65! Pro Gold is $10.99...The TNT-Audio DIY section I gave a link to is full of cheap tweaks. It *can* be done. If Logan or anyone just starting follows these tips he or she will get extremely decent sound with $2K.