Thanks for the reply,
To answer your questions, there are two main reasons. My parents, while 'building' a house are still on a very tight budget for the whole thing which includes this Receiver. The second, they aren't even going to have/use Surround, They are only going to be using two main speakers (department store style Sony floor standing jobs from the 80's).
So, for them, they really only need those two features. (a way to easily switch hdmi inputs (dvr/dvd player) and also power a second zone.
I had a budget of ~1k from him to purchase their low voltage wiring/accessories required and once all else is bought, the AV receiver is left with about $230 in funds. Sure, I could easily increase that by adding my own money and that's certainly not an issue but I think any extra stuff would be wasted.
interested in that network receiver you linked too though. I'll have to look but it would be nice if it made it easy for them to stream music from their PC into zone 2. I'll certainly check it out!
I also found another Onkyo on amazon That also might fit the bill Onkyo TX-SR313. Again, this needs to power two floor standing speakers and two outdoor deck speakers. along with doing av switching as required.
Just for fun, here's where the receiver will live (down on the right). Their will be a gas fireplace there in the center, and the TV above the mantle. And the home-run wiring I did (just RG6, Ethernet, and one phone line for the phone base station)