Short and sweet:
1. Budget cannot go over $4000
2. Will power 5 mid to high end speakers such as Sonus Faber, lower-end Revel, or some paradigm studio's. . 130 watts+ for receiver, 120 watts+ if amp is recommended.
3. Will use a maximum of 3 HDMI inputs for now
4. HD audio codec support
5. Audyssey support would be great. If I cannot bitstream blu-ray and still have audyssey enabled then I will compromise and have the receiver do the decoding and sent via HDMI.
6. 1080p upconversion would be a bonus, but the cable box and blu-ray would probably be passed through anyway.
7. Does not overheat! Good warranty + reliable
8. Pre/pro + amp is preferred but that probably cannot meet the $4000 budget.
9. Don't need scaling capabilities because I have no immediate plans for a projector.
There are some things I have heard from high-end dealers so far:
A. Pioneer Elite SC series receivers are junk compared to Lexicon receivers and Anthem Statements. But there is an obvious a price to pay. Lexicons do not support HD Audio codecs.
B. Integra's have some bad overheating problems. Lifespan could be only around 2 years.
C. Audyssey is crippled in most receivers. The separate processing unit is required for full functionality.
I really appreciate any help I can get. I know many of these questions have been addressed but I am getting sick of searching for a good match for my criteria.