no offense intended toward you personally, but its been my experience that unless you work at a specialty A/V shop that caters to the "high end" the typical salesman has no idea what the difference is between one receiver and the next other than price. at the consumer level the typical salesman is extremely ignorant about the topic to begin with. they don't know what they are selling and don't earn enough to even be able to afford what they are selling in the first place. the typical salesman has no idea what this equipment will do.
here's an example of what i'm talking about. there wasn't single store in this entire city where I could find a salesman that knew what a trigger cable was for connecting a power amp to a receiver. NOT ONE! not only that, but there wasn't a single store I could find a trigger cable at in this entire town. I had to go on ebay to get one. do you know what it is? 1/8 inch mono cable. that's all it is. and yet nobody knew? not one sales man? some of these salesmen work on commissions too. when you tell me you were a salesman that could mean a lot of different things and again i'm not trying to sound offensive. for all I know you could be a real authority on this type of equipment.
the DENON 3313CI is a great example of where i'm going to go next with my answer to you. I don't know about the area you live in, but here in LAS VEGAS the only store that carried this unit was FRY'S and it was the top DENON unit they carried in stock on the shelf. while not the most expensive receiver they carried (the most expensive was ONKYO at the $2,200 price level.) the DENON 3313ci was selling for $1,100. with extended warranty and everything mine came out to about $1,400. stores like BEST BUY and even their higher end "MAGNOLIA" centers didn't carry the 3313ci on the shelf - a special order item only if you even knew it existed. if it wasn't on the shelf the salesman didn't know it even existed so how would an uninformed public know unless they did their own research? they wouldn't. also, the level of receiver in question is above the consumer level since its not typically sold at consumer level stores, but is more of a specialty item. the DENON 3313ci is in a league of its own almost. its not high end and its not low end. its right there in the middle somewhere that is not marketed to the general public at the consumer level, but probably isn't pushed too hard at the specialty high end level either. in my opinion its on a level comparable to the old $500 receivers of the late 90's when it comes to the totem pole of high end vs low end a/v equipment. the difference being the price doubled, but its place in the food chain didn't. this is clearly evident when you consider the cheaper models on the market. it used to be that if you wanted full channel preouts on a av receiver that you were looking at the $500 price range. today its the $1,000 range. yes there's all kinds of other goodies on them, but the preouts I think are still the stepping stone for those who wish to go high end. why? because that's where you go from using an A/V RECEIVER as an amplifier to using it strictly as a processor. once you get to the level of having preouts then you are looking at the other more advanced features. AIRPLAY for example comes on most receivers now no matter how cheap they are. why? because its not a high end feature. its become the standard. zone 2 and 3? they aren't typically offered or pushed that much until you reach the level of preouts and even the cheap zone 2 receivers will still offer preouts for the extra zone even if it doesn't preouts for the main zone.
if you go on the denon website and look up this model of receiver they give you the specs for the receiver. they tell you everything about it. they "SELL" it to you! the limitations I've run into are in fine print in the owners manual that you have to download since this unit doesn't come with a hard copy of it out of the box. when the company DENON advertises the capability of this particular product they are in fact targeting a specific buyer who has specific intentions. to suggest otherwise is to also suggest that they aren't trying to sell the lower end models they are offering. let me be clear about something regarding this particular unit DENON 3313CI. they pushed the capability in their advertisement of this unit to the max with the following features - PHYSICAL SIZE, ZONE 2 HDMI OUT, FULL CHANNEL PRE OUTS. they actually pushed in their advertisements the idea that this unit (which is true I won't deny it) is the most capable receiver on the market for its physical size and its low price in contrast to anything else on the market. they were without a doubt targeting a specific buyer. now if the buyer is ignorant that's on the buyer, but it suggests nothing about the way this particular model is marketed or advertised.
anyone that buys something they don't need, because they think they are going to have an advantage of some kind is direct reflection of poor experience with a salesman. I can sell you a bridge to nowhere and tell you its the best bridge ever built for the money. if you buy it then I guess I did a good job selling it to you, but did it help your cause as a buyer?
there are people on this site and all over the world with a lot of money to spend on their equipment. myself I don't have that much money. i'm always about getting the biggest bang for the buck. I shop by specifications. sales people in general have no idea what they are selling, because to them its a job. for the rest of us its a hobby and a passion.
I look forward to learning more from all of you.