Which Would You Choose?

All other things being equal, which of these two options would you choose? The goal is quality 2 channel listening with the ability to have a solid home theater experience. 5.1 surround sound is more than adequate with the primary focus being put on the mains.

Option 1
Marantz SR6006 - $1,200
110 wpc (x7) AVR

Option 2
Marantz NR1402 - $400
50 wpc (x5) AVR with 2.1 pre-outs
Marantz MM7025 - $800
140 wpc stereo power amplifier

Would the power amplifier be expected to be a significant improvement in stereo sound quality?
Why Marantz for all 3 choices? I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with them but there is other equipment in that price range that is just as good and maybe better.
Option #2, and Yes.
What are you using for a source for 2 channel? If digital, you need to compare the DACs in the 2 receivers. If analog, there should be less of a difference in the two. But, an external power amp will probably make more difference than the DACs, depending on the speakers.
None of the above.....(emphatically so, if you are using subwoofers in your set-up).

Audyssey Pro 32XT is --IMHO-- the dispositive difference maker among AVRs in this class. Integra, Denon and Onkyo all offer it, Marantz (as near as I can figure from the Marantz and Audyssey web sites) only offers an older iteration of Audyssey. Whatever other distinctions may (or may not) exist among these models are likely - IME - to be audibly less significant than the DRC software, particularly if that software is also generating the crossover function to integrate subwoofers.

A little background. A friend of mine has a very small room that he want to use for a home theater setup. The room is about the size of two office cubicals and the entire house is about 800 sq-ft. He's very impressed with my system, but isn't ready to put that much money into his initial setup so I'm trying to figure out some recommendations that will work for his current space and allow for future upgrades without having to repurchase.

I really like the idea of using an inexpesive AVR in combination with either a stereo power amp or even an integrated amp. The $400 price tag on the Marantz makes it a very interesting concept because the 50 wpc would be more than adequate in his small room and would allow for the expansion to a better amp for the mains in the future when he wanted better quality sound or had a bigger room.

At this point I'm leaning towards Focal 806v speakers with an REL T5 subwoofer. I really think this combination will be just about perfect for his needs, expectations, and his willingness to spend money. Recommendations may change depending on what's available on the used market when he's ready to make some purchases.

Is the Pro 32XT available on a receiver in the sub-$1,000 price point? I'll have to do some looking.

The reason for having two all Marantz products was simply to compare to ways to spend about the same amount of money using the same brand with a similar feature set.

The Denon 4311 and the Onkyo 1009 both (IIRC) have Pro 32xt and check in at app. $1400 (from the web-based deep discounters) - app $200 more than the Marantz 6006 you list above. I just went thru this drill for my own account and would personally spend the extra $200 without hesitation - even if I had to cut back elsewhere in the system.

As always - YMMV.

It doesn't appear that Pro 32XT is available on any receivers in a similar price range. In the Integra lineup it's appears to start at the 70.x level. I like the concept, but know that it's probably out of his budget.
If you don't have a problem with reconditioned you might want to check out accessories 4 less. They handle both denon and marantz in recon and new. Good service/pricing.
Good info, the biggest issue is that I don't think he's going to put that much into the project up front. The secondary power amp would likely be a secondary stepping stone in the future. You never know, I'll keep this in mind and see how much I can get out of his wallet when the time comes.

Just something to be aware of so you're not under the wrong impression and I've stated this before in other posts. If you look at Marantz surround sound AVRs, the power specs are misleading. Take a another look at the SR6006 specifications. It states 110w/ch 20HZ-20KHZ into 8 ohms TWO CHANNELS DRIVEN, not all 7. Marantz is notorious for this and hoodwinked me when I purchased my very first Marantz AVR. I did love it and do like Marantz products in general. In fact I recently purhcased the UD5005 universal blu-ray player and absolutely love it. But when it comes to their AVR power ratings, be aware. I was told by someone at Marantz once that you have to derate those power specs to 70% of the stated power for two channels driven to arrive at all channels driven. Brands such as NAD and Rotel do not do this in their specs of their AVRs. Just want to help you out.