Tell your buddies, that if they wish, they can spend their own hard earned money to buy you a better system.
So your friends are saying that they don't like the sound of your system. The important thing is, do you like the way it sounds? What gear are they using?
You don't mention how many speakers you have hooked up. Are you using just the two towers in stereo?
The receiver is putting out a minimum of 110 watts x7. The speakers have a 93 DB sensitivity rating, which means they don't need much power to get loud.
I have this receiver and think it sounds fine. Have you run MCACC? I am running NHT speakers that are not exactly the most efficient and my system gets plenty loud. You might want to look at the official MCACC thread to optimize your results. You may also look at speaker positioning. I wasn't completely thrilled with my first MCACC experience with this receiver and after adjusting my speaker positions and going through the MCACC thread it sounds much better.