I recently pulled the trigger on the Pioneer VSX-1019 after finding a great deal on Amazon ($399 from J & R with no tax and free shipping). I upgraded from Pioneer VSX-D608 (a great AV receiver in its own rights) that I purchased about 10 years ago but still worked fine. Boy, what a difference! I'm hearing sounds from my speakers that I'd never heard before.
I have to agree with everyone when they say that the manual sucks. You try to read about a feature and it refers you to another page for further description. When you read the explanation on the second page, it refers you to a third page. It's positively maddening!!! I finally just went on what I know from previous experience and threw in a little logic and I think everyone worked out (so far!). There are so many ways to tinker with this unit, I'll probably never use most of the features and the manual is no help anyway. Also, the MCACC is a great feature and even reported that one of my surrounds was wired in reverse phase! Obviously, my old D608 could never have told me that; a quick rewiring solved the problem.
I have it hooked up to my Samsung LN46A640 LCD, Polk-Audio RM6750 speakers, Scientific Atlanta set-top box, XBOX 360 and an old Pioneer DV-525 DVD player that I wasn't using much because it doesn't upconvert (I was using the XBox to upconvert DVDs but that can get a little tedious). The upconversion feature on the 1019 is a great bonus, allowing me to use the old DVD player again until the prices come down on Blu-Ray players and discs. However, I wouldn't buy the 1019 just because it upconverts, because many newer players already offer upconversion. I haven't tried it yet but I wonder what the picture will look like on my older DV camcorder that I used to connect with an 'S' cable?
The one problem I cannot figure out is using a thumb drive with the 1019. I have a 16 GB stick loaded with music files that I usually use at work (we have severely limited internet capabilities there). I tried plugging it into the 1019 using the procedure described in the manual (put in Standby before plugging in, then turn on the receiver) then switching to the iPod/USB input. However, when I do this the on-screen GUI reports that my thumb drive is empty. I'm wondering if this may have something to do with the file structure or how the drive is formatted (FAT16/32 or NTFS)? Has anyone had a similar problem and/or can suggest a workaround?
Despite this, I still think the 1019 is a great product. I've always liked Pioneer products but hesitated purchasing a 1018 until they were no longer available. After reading the other threads about the 1019 versus the 1018, I was a little leery about the newer model, but now I think my fears were unfounded.