Well, the saga has ended.
Onkyo did send a prepaid box to return the TX-NR808 for repair. The receiver was turned around in a little over 2 weeks, so far, so good.
After everything was connected, turned the receiver on and "ta da", we have sound ! Went through the setup, made sure all the assignable inputs were correct, did the Audyssey thing, checked the firmware, all looks ok.
Popped in a Bluray and realized something was not right. All I'm getting is 2 channel stereo. Not good. Checked a few things and discovered if the BD player's HDMI cable was disconnected from the Onkyo, the receiver would use the s/pdif connection. And, using this connection, the receiver produced Dolby D 5.1 audio.
Contacted Onkyo support via email and over the course of a week or so tried various combinations to no avail, HDMI audio yields 2 channel stereo no matter what.
I have three sources for digital audio, an Oppo 93 BD player, a Cox Contour cable box, and a Xbox 360. Dolby D via s/pdif, 2 channel stereo via HDMI in all cases.
So, yes, Onkyo fixed the no- sound problem, but (IMO) used a defective HDMI board.
Onkyo did not offer to correct this new problem.
Needless to say, Onkyo products will not be on my "buy" list.
And, we were SO close ...