I'm sure these kinds of threads pop up all the time, so I apologize in advance if this is rehashing old territory.
I currently have a Marantz 7000 series that's maybe 6 or 7 years old that has been great in regards to SQ (though menu GUI and navigation is a bit on the challenging side) but doesn't have any HDMI provisions. I just picked up a Panasonic 65" VT50 plasma this month and would like to bring my receiver up to date as well. I'm using 10 year old Mission speakers in this room (the main towers are the 775 model; can't remember the other pieces).
I'm having trouble knowing what to pair these speakers with as I haven't found any retailer near me that carries this brand anymore to do a listening session on so I'm turning to the forum for suggestions and guidance. I'm looking to spend maybe a grand on the new receiver. I'm only running 5.1 in this room and have no plans of changing that.
This is not my primary theater, but I'd like the best SQ possible while having the newest HDMI features (namely 3D compatibility and higher bitrate audio). If it helps the suggestion process, my "reference" system consists of an Integra DTC 9.8 pre/pro connected to a Sunfire 200~7 (using balanced cables) and Definitive Technology speakers (BP7000sc mains, C/L/R 3000 center, BPX side surrounds, and BP2X rears).
What brands and model numbers should I be considering? SQ is important to me, but so is ease of use and modern feature set. I could definitely consider a higher end 5.1 receiver if anyone makes such a thing anymore.