Originally Posted by Action925
The issue is that I'd like to somewhat leave that fairly open and be somewhat future proof. I'm by no means an audiophile, but I do appreciate (there is a difference) good sound.
To be honest, I guess the reason I'm stuck is that I'm not completely married to certain features, yet. I guess this is the classic problem of not knowing what I want..
At this level, for all intents and purposes, AVR's are the same; amplifier section, inputs/outputs (I/O's), room analyzer, on screen GUI, a manual on a CD which usually can be downloaded in the form of a PDF and some DTS/Dolby Digital CODEC's. Pay the lady on the way out the door. With that in mind, I always recommend one go with what makes them all warm and fuzzy inside; emotional security based on familiarity.
I'm a Denon/Marantz fanboy and recently upgraded our unit to a Marantz, SR5007, delivered, $750.00. The unit is full featured. It has all the basic I/O's one can need, including a full set of pre-outs so one can, at their choosing, upgrade to an outboard Amp, The SR5007 comes with all the current crop of DTS and Dolby Digital CODEC's and has Audyssey, MultEQ XT room analyzer/correction capabilities.
After having the unit for a couple of months and running a few action sound tracks at reference levels, the only complaint comes from my wife; "It's too loud. Turn it down."
In regard to this AVR and how do I feel about the recent purchase, nothing on the market turns my head and makes me sigh; I'm a happy camper.
Last night we watched Comcast provided, "Battle; L.A." which has a great action sound track. Also I might add, it's an action movie I would recommend highly.
As to your question as to which unit should one buy? Refer back to my original comments; at this level, they're all the same and go with what you feel comfortable with. Onkyo has reported quality issues but that seems to be the only caveat that off hand I can think of. The Marantz was easy to set up, the GUI is intuitive and the room analyzer is user friendly. Lot's of nuance reading to get up to speed with Audyssey but overall, a positive learning experience. If one were to blindly choose the Marantz, SR5007, I'm confident they'd be very happy but again, always go with what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside; issues of emotional security.
Hope the above helps give you ideas and answers to your question.