I am with Audiodork.
For me, Trinnov is the Big Thing about this receiver.
Comparing Trinnov to Audyssey MultiEQ XT (I can't speak to XT32), Trinnov is noticeably better, even at straight room equalization, without the 3D function engaged. At least in my room. With 3D engaged, Trinnov is in a totally different category than Audyssey, IMO.
It is true that in some circumstances, Trinnov is not as easy to set up as Audyssey. But this is primarily because it has to estimate the position of the speakers in 3D space, which is not something Audyssey attempts to do.
In my case, I had to pop one end of one of my in-wall Heights and point it to the calibration microphone, to get it to register its spatial position. Do I want to go through this very often? Nope.
But now it's done, and I do not plan to touch it again for a long time. The sound is by far the best I have achieved in my TV room, which has primarily hard, flat surfaces (two glass walls and hardwood floors, with minimal furnishing).
Before, Audissey and Velodyne's built-in Room EQ had helped tame a bit the sound mess, but things were still too boomy, too muddy and too bright, all at the same time.
Trinnov cleaned all of it up and blended it correctly, to a point where I am genuinely happy with the sound, which I frankly did not believe was possible in this room. And that's without even taking the 3D feature into account. Then the 3D thing adds a whole new dimension on top, pun intended.
The rest of the AVR is overall fine. I did have one defective unit, but everything is fine now. My setup is simpler than most, basically one BR equipped HTPC going to the R-972 (DVI/HDMI), then one HDMI/DVI/HDMI cable to the TV.
Everything works well now, although I do not use the video circuitry of the AVR -- I let the TV (60" Kuro) do the scaling. In all honesty, I have never been able to clearly tell a difference between the scaling of the TV, or any other receiver I've had before, including the R-972. I do, however, use a color meter and software on the HTPC to calibrate the image, which does have noticeable impact.
I thought I'd miss Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume, but I do not, at all. In fact, Trinnov has cleaned up the dialog way better than I ever got from Audyssey, even at very low levels.
I did not miss the networking capability of my Marantz, except for AirPlay, which I think is the Trinnov of networking, or the proverbial sliced bread
But I simply installed Aerodrom
on my HTPC (running Windows 8 Beta) and now I can stream both video and audio from my iPad to the HTPC, which then passes the video and the audio through the R-972. So, at the end, this is a better and more versatile setup than before, even though the AVR itself is not networked.
Finally, the remote. It sucks, even though it's RF, as well as IR. But IMO, so does virtually every other AVR remote I've seen. I use a URC remote and it took me 15 minutes to learn the commands (the URC database is wrong, and it generally sucks, anyway).
The R-972 is a pretty solid AVR overall, but there are others, like the Denon 4311, the Onkyo TX-NR3008, or the Anthems, or the Integras, or the bigger Yamahas and the Class D Pioneers, which are also great, and have some more modern features, like networking, as well as being easier to set up and less buggy (well, some of them). But they don't have Trinnov.
So, there. Do I think the R-972 is as good as it gets in the sub-$3-$4 (list) category?
Yes. Because of Trinnov. Now that I've had a taste of it, I'll always want it, or something which does what Trinnov does.
But, others may think differently....