Upgrading from Onkyo 875 to separates-worth it?

Thinking of upgrading my one year old 875 to a used Integra 9.8 processor and a multichannel amp. Also considering using the 875 as the processor and going with a multichannel amp. Any experience from anyone going with either of those routes? The 9.8s are dropping below $1k used which looks attractive. Would like to hear from anyone going from an 875 to any other processor as well.
I have the 9.8 and it is an excellent piece of gear. Just make sure that the one you buy has been updated with the latest software or be prepared to do it yourself.

Since I was starting from scratch I built the entire system HDMI which is terrific.

Since I have a 5.1 set up I have the 9.8 set up for bi-amping. I also like the flexibility of being able to upgrade the amps without changing the preamp - or vice versa.

I started with a 7 channel amp, then got a great deal and moved to a five channel amp which I use across the front (2+1+2), and a separate pair of monoblocks for the rears.

While I was researching this, a number of dealers recommended that I get a lesser receiver and use the preamp out to a separate power amp. So long as your 875 meets your needs (inputs, decoding formates etc) you could start that way and upgrade the processor/pre later.
I can respond since there are so few responses to date. My system used the 805 as a processor and pre-amp outs to outboard amps. It is a great processor. I don't like burning all those watts in the amps for nothing and it is not sensible ecologically, but has served its purpose. It has all the latest decoders, is bullet-proof, easy to use and I can use it down the road in another room. The 875 will have the same benefits or better. I am interested in the new Emotiva processor, due out this winter. Great company, great products and $799 new with a great warranty. If you use your system for mostly movies you might see an improvement. I use my system 90/10 music/movies, so I put my money elsewhere.
"I don't like burning all those watts in the amps for nothing and it is not sensible ecologically"

FTR, in case anyone else is wondering here, when you run a receiver without hooking into the amp section with your speakers, you are not running a load off your amps in the receiver! Unless you have a load (resistance) in the circuit using the speaker connections, they are not producing power consumption, as you are assuming here. So, you're not burning up the ecosystem so much faster, and wasting power, as you're presuming here. Yes, there's power being consumed to power the receiver, run the processing, preamp, and such, but not nearly as much power is being used as when you use the amps in the receiver. FYI.
I'm pretty sure that's right anyway. Maybe someone with differing opinion can weigh in if they know otherwise. But I'm pretty certain that's about right.
Iplaynaked ;
Does the receiver close the circuit to the amps , when not in use , or does it just short to ground in the same way that battery chargers do when not charging a battery but remain plugged in to the wall ? In the case of the battery chargers , they still use (waste) electricity .
Just asking as I have been considering the same set up .

Thank you .