I've owned 836's for about 2 years now and I LOVE them. I am running some older, but high end Mcintosh seperates in front of them in a bedroom. I think they are just going to give you deeper bass over the 816s. The mids and highs should be fairly close. I don't need a sub in the bedroom, but I have one and run a 20 year old Klipsch 12" sub with them every now and then. If you can trade up for equal money I would do it. I also have some big 13 year old Def Techs in my basement theater and the mids and highs on the focals are much better, especially for music. I'm keeping my eye out for some electras if they come up for the right price, so I can put my 836s in my theater and have electras in the BR. Kind of sucks because there is nowhere to demo them in MN, and I don't know if I'm going to hear $4,000 to $8,000 better than what I have. I think your Onkyo should be fine, but I have read the focals can drop down to 4 ohms at louder levels. I'm not sure if it's true but if I crank it up, I can see my protection circuits blink on my amp, which prevents them from harming anything. I'm running 275 watts to them as well, as my amp is bridgeable.