The AVR-300 is a great receiver and Steve should not go for the separates and I did not suggest that he do so. And, when you take the amplification included within the AVR-300 and compare its 2 channel sound to some of the comparable similar priced over-feature ladden receivers out there, the AVR-300 is a great sounding piece of equipment for its' price point.
I had a Krell KAV-250, (not one of thier best) which I sold two weeks ago simply because the Arcam amps sounded better, The Krell surely gave me a whole lot of clean power, but the sound wasn't as rich and warm, and musical as the amp built into the Arcam. The differences were not subtle, they went from a good clean undistorted sound from the Krell to the I'll stay here all night listening to this envolving, musical, and detailed sound from Arcam. My point is that the Krell had a retail price of $ 3,200 a couple of years ago, and when used in conjuction with the Arcam as a pre-amp it just didn't cut it. This also speaks volumes of the quality of the amp used in the receiver. Would using the Krell with different equipment yield better results? It could be, maybe better cables?,or Is it that the arcam's pre-amp and amp conbination working together make all the difference?
Finally, the point that I am trying to get across is that the word RECEIVER can be to many a justifiable worry, as it has always been to me when trying to get good stereo sound, but the Arcam 300 is no "receiver", as it is simply a great piece for music, no matter what else you think of it.
I just discovered THE ARCAM SOUND a couple of months ago, and combined with the Paradigm 100v3s, and the 570 center channel, I feel very pleased. This is one receiver I will not have to sell to get another, but when it is time to upgrade, this piece will not go on ebay for sale, it will stay around the house for music litsening.
Anyways, whichever Arcam you own, the AVR-300 or the AVP-700, they both leave their respective competition feeling like a fish out of water. Enjoy.