What is consensus on Pioneer Elite sound quality?

I have an older, about 6 years old, Pioneer Elite a/v receiver. I do not have a HT hookup anymore. I have an elite 45a cd/dvd/sacd/dvd-a player I use as the transport (99% redbook cds). Also Polk rti28 bookshelfs with Polk sub. I'm pleased with the performance for 2.1 channel audio. I'm tempted, however, to start checking out some of the integrateds from Jolida, NAD, etc. Opinions on Elites amp section?
Cary is another amp I am considering. Since I have a sub in my w 2 channel system, I'm considering using the Elite as a pre, and use the sub-out, and patch in an outboard tube amp thru front pre-outs
An AV receivers preamp section is lesser quality than the amp section. To many op amps and signal path length for the low the level signal before it is amplified.

A tube preamp (or SS) would provide better sound if the receiver has multichannel amp inputs. If it does, and you have a preamp w/ 2 outputs, you can use 4 of the AV receivers amps and bi-amp your speakers, if they offer connections.
Well from what I've gathered on this site and others, unless I'm going to spend a bit more, I might as well stick with the Elite receiver. I was tmpted by the Cambridge 840A, but it may not be a major sonic improvement over the Elite that I now have. I can't fork over big bucks at the moment so I should keep saving and then do a MAJOR upgrade down the road (possibly a McIntosh or similar.
I did some research on Pioneer Elite as well and you have made a good choice to keep what you have. I think their gear is neutral sounding and a very good value for the money. You will have to spend more to step up. I like my Pioneer Elite integrated amp enough to stay with the brand for any upcoming HT system in the far future.

I tried Kimber Kabling I use with my tube system on the 2 channel Pioneer Elite system and it made a very noticeable improvement in a clearer sound, tighter more articulate bass with cleaner highs. I likewise tried some Monster Cable I had laying around and it did not compliment Pioneer Elite so well, but I will bet that is what most stores offering the Pioneer Elite brand carry. This may be a good option for an upgrade that you can keep with you for the future.
Thanks..I've heard a lot of good things about Kimber. I have Monster 12 Gage speaker cable which I could tell was a step up from the 16 gage cable that I had earlier