Thanks for the reply and the car analogy. I've been down that very steep slope too... add modifications to hear, feel and control the power when you can't use it....let's call it headroom.
FWIW, I recently purchased a used RS digital meter off of eBay, looks like new. They regularly sell for @$30-35 shipped. Played with it all yesterday, re-ran Audyssey many times, the Avia disk, changed speaker placement, etc.. I chose the RS because it seem an accepted standard on AVS and there are (several?) good correction tables available.