I have the AV7005 connected to an amp (Primare) and powering T+A speakers and am quite happy with it. Some will say XT32 will be a big improvement over Audyssey XT found on the AV7005. This is likely true depending on how much EQ correction your room needs. I am running a 5.1 system with my seating area (for only 1 or 2 people) in the optimum location. My room is also fairly open in layout and lacks serious reflection and standing wave problems. I carefully ran XT and got excellent results with minor EQ corrections.
If you are going to have 2 subs or think you have a difficult room to equalize, then XT32 would likely yield improvements over XT. However, if you are in similar situation as I, then AV7005 with XT is an excellent value (can be bought new for much less than retail) and I like the dedicated preamp assembly.
Here are some comments from the dealer where I purchased my AV7005 listing some of the features of it:
All-discrete, balanced preamplifier outputs
Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAM) on the preamp board.
Ultra-Quiet, Linear Power Supply
Copper Shielded EI Core Power Transformer
Pure Direct / Source Direct (Same)
Additionally, there is more real estate inside of the chassis which is helpful to reduce coupling (by moving key boards away from one another).
The preamp section of the AV7005 has the symmetrical HDAM layout, gold plated (lower noise) audiophile relays on the regulated power supply board. Marantz calls this there "Dedicated Preamp Assembly".
To my ears, it is to the next level over the Onkyo Integra. I will be having a shootout in MN between the SR and AV, the denon 4311 and Onkyo (I sell them all) and the AV8003.
You can email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss further and also pricing. He is a nice guy.
Undoubtedly, you will likely get another reply recommending the Denon AVR-4311. It is currently very popular and is likely an excellent unit (I had a Denon before I purchased the AV7005). However, it is a receiver and contains amps which you can turn off to run as a dedicated preamp. It also has Audyssey XT32. Steve at soundvideo prefers the sound quality of the AV7005 and I prefer the design and engineering behind a dedicated preamp with the main features described above.