I'd look at B&K waaay before any Denon. Just MO.
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No Denon unit up to the $4K mark equals the sound of the Arcam AVR 300 in my opinion.
That said, I currently run a Rotel 1065. I wanted the Arcam, but none were available used, so I settled for a close second (Rotel). That said, I am due to receive in the next few weeks a modified 3805 Denon from Underwood Wally. I am going to A/B it to the Rotel 1065. Having liked what Underwood has achieved with his other mods, I bet he has a giant killer with this receiver. Time will tell. I should qualify my comments in that I only use the receiver in my system for home theater application.
I'll let you know my thoughts if you can wait a few weeks.
I've had several Denons and listened to their top of the line receiver. You can do much worse than the Denons but they ain't even close to the Arcam for music/sound quality.
Personally, I don't find *any* HT receiver interface to be user friendly but I wouldn't want to trade the musicality and terrific pre/pro section of my AVR300 for anything near its price range. I'd go to separates first (probably used Cary).
If you MUST have a receiver try B&K before the Denon - especially if you will be using it for music.
I was looking for an AVR and decided that 2K was way too much to spend for an integrated solution. I went with low cost separates (still more than 2K however). Here is the problem: the AVR 300 does not have discrete amplification and it is made in Asia (from what I have gleaned). Therefore, you should be asking yourself if it is really an Arcamn at its nucleus. The other telling sign is that Arcams AV processors are about 4K. Quite a disparity. If you want clean sound, you might want to consider Aragon or Adcom preamp/HT processors. They have both been making preamps for quite some time.