I think I'm getting close...my goal is to put in an order today.
After talking with a guy at BB who was all about audio, I originally bought the Pioneer 818...but after realizing I spent too much on it (compared to what I get online) I returned it, unopened.
So then the research and talking with people who know what they're talking about I've narrowed it down to the Pioneer 919 and the Denon 590.
Most of the specs are pretty much the same from what I can see.
The Denon has Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ
The Pioneer has ALC, Midnight Mode, ETC
Both have the room setup, though I've heard the Pioneer might be easier and that the Denon can be difficult to setup.
Of course the Pioneer has 7.1, but I'm not sure I'll use it. The Denon has some upscaling but I don't think I'll need that.
Cost is the same as AMAZON has the Denon for $310 and I found a 919 for $315
What would you get?
A bit of an update...looks like I can get the Denon 1610 from ABT or Vann for $310.
Leaning towards Denon as all the sales people seem to like it best and Audyssey seems to get the most applause.
Denon has my vote. Audyssey is better than MCACC in general and the Denon has the better amp section. Dynamic volume works better than ALC too. Be sure to check out Batpig's setup guide as Denon's are a pain to setup.
Went with the Denon 1610 ended up with a grand total of $310.58 ($293+tax) from ABT, they told me it will be here on Monday.
J&R was giving it for $305 but the guy wasn't friendly at all and would be lucky to have it on Thursday...so I gave my business to ABT who did everything they could to make the sale.
Also looked at VANN who's service was excellent (real people answer their phones) but their return policy is awful, minimum 20% restocking. Not that I expect to send it back, but you just never know and I think restocking fees are terrible customer service.