Cary Cinema 11
You should consider a piece like the Sony EP9ES digital pre-amp/processor from the late '90's.. Excellent performance on decoding Dolby Digital 5.1, comprehensive bass management, volume control to allow connection directly to power amps should you choose, no video switching, and excellent build quality.
Note: this unit will not decode DTS. However, you won't get DTS from satellite/cable/broadcasts so it's unnecessary for any program from that source. For DTS and the new lossless codecs you can daisy-chain your DVD/Blu-ray player with multichannel analog outs (OPPO BDP-83, for example) through the Sony's 5.1 analog bypass input to let you get into lossless without HDMI.
I too gave up trying to combine HT with two channel. My HT is setup in a corner in another room. It wasn't until I upgraded the HT with a 7.1 HDMI receiver with room correction EQ that the surround sound was dramatically improved in such a difficult location.
If you looking for DSP without room correction for an HT, IMO your wasting your money. Your putting too much into video obsolescence. Currently, there is little in the way of 7.1 HD media that would outdate a sub $500 HDMI receiver for some time to come. What about your video source compatibility? Cable, Blueray, and HDMI are a wonderfully simple combination.
looks like we all came to pretty much the same conclusion. a well built late 1990's piece does everything I need... but I tried a lexicon CP-2 from local dealer... and its sub out likely needs resolder. that's the issue with the older stuff. So, I hooked up my Marantz SR7400 7.1ch (lacks HDMI)and its Prologic of 2ch is much better than the CP-2... it has DTS and EX (as well as 7.1 analog). downside it's an AVR, and even idle, gets hot as heck in the cabinet... my amps don't generate as much heat! and another remote to discourage the wife....
but it brings my HT experience to 3.1 (or 5.1 for good movies) at the expense of a few new RBG cables. maybe buy a good "all in one" remote and make everyone happy.
Again, thank you for all the replies. in a year or so, I will be back for something HDMI (or just buying that inxepensive receiver with pre outs because it will also have ethernet support...