"Distortion" does not need to apologize for recommending the Bryston SP-1.7, since it is an excellent pre/pro. I do, however, understand his concern about "pimping" the Bryston line, since I am equally guilty. I have one of the first Bryston SP-1's produced (serial number 10, upgraded to final version software), and have been extremely pleased with it. It offers great HT surround processing, and excellent sound quality in either its digital or analog-bypass mode.
The SP-1.7 differs from the SP-1 by having analog 5.1 inputs for SACD / DVD-A, plus digital processing for Dolby ProLogic 2 and most of the other 6.1 and 7.1 channel formats. If these features are not of interest to you, then the SP-1 can be purchased used for a lot less money than the SP-1.7.
As a point of interest, I made a post several weeks ago that the Bryston SP-1.7 had recently been chosen by Mi Casa Studios to do the DVD soundtrack processing for "Finding Nemo", "Lord of The Rings", and a number of other DVD releases of major films. For more info, go the following Bryston Web page: