Thanks for contributing.
I picked the Sangean as an overall best fit for me. I'm not against Sony or anything. Although I don't buy their stereo components any more because they tend to run hot and all the components I've ever owned in that brand have failed after a few years use.
I tend to favor Panasonic over Sony, as a general brand choice. I do have a Trinitron TV that's very dependable and would buy their TV's again if they had the best picture.
I don't own the Sony, but I may pick one up and try it out. It seems like a decent deal, pricewise, if it doesn't burn out prematurely. I've seen just as many side-by-side reviews that state that tuner sensitivity in the Sangean is at least as good or better than the Sony... One put it just under one of the Magnum Dynalab models in a seat-of-the-pants, side-by-side, sensitivity test.
I've got fairly recent 0.3 firmware on mine, and I really haven't noticed any bugs. Like I said the only real defect I've noticed is the quality of the optical port itself. And it's just the physical plastic, the port actually works fine. I've never had to re-boot my unit yet. I've had it for about 3 months and use it most of the day, every day. I've been through a couple of power failures and the unit seems to perform well. Only the clock is lost, which is about the same as my coffee-maker, etc... I did have one very quick power-glitch, where the clock was not lost, that surprised me...
The heat-issues, no force-analog, screen dimming issue, and no optical-out, were some of the deal-breaker's for me on the Sony.
I really like the Carrier-to-noise ratio meter on the Sangean. It's very useful, but appears to only work in HD)) mode on my unit. I think the regular meter is also useful. In a relative way, I use it to compare signal-strength of stations at different times of the day. Both of these have helped me a great deal with determining antenna height, and position.
I went with a center-fire, omni-directional, half-wave dipole; up about 35 feet in the air. I like not having to rotate the antenna, although, less signal than a directional. No pre-amp, 60 +/- ft. of LMR-400-75 coax. I get every significant station within a 40-60 mile radius, which, in my location, is about 60+ stations.
Which 10 db pre-amp are you using?