I trust Bob, so here goes...
First let me say, both of these are mine, in my place, with my stuff. Yes there is probably some psychology involved (the Denon being the latest purchased and all), but I will try to compare them the best I can.
The room, well sucks. It's huge (by my standards), vaulted, and has no acoustical treatments (other than carpet, couch and curtains). The bass is out of control and needs a lot of work. Plus the room opens into the rest of the house (though small), so I'm sure that affects the sound - you have been notified
The equipment - not bad, but nothing like what some of you have. The mains are Infinity Prelude MTS (and the surrounds are older less capable Infinity speakers). The Amps are Acoustic Reality Ear-2 for the mains, and an Outlaw 7500 (XLR) for the center and surrounds (so that's 300W for the mains and 200W for the surrounds). Cables are all cheap (though XLR to all the amps and very large gauge bi-wired for the fronts). The processors are of course the D2 and the AVP. I have an Oppo 970, PS-3, Pioneer HD1 / Denon 2500, Toshiba XA2, a Denon 3910, and a Pioneer DVL-90. The TV is a Sony Q006 (1080i only).
Me - I have decent eyesight, and can see quite a few artifacts - slightly above average let's say (I don't do films for a living - nor music). I have decent ears, but am not as critical as some (notice the above cheap cables).
On to the fun (and this should be fun yes?).
Weight - My *** that Denon is heavy. At least Anthem used some aluminum in there to hold the weight down. It is huge too. I had to put it on top of my apparently smallish stand (scary). It does not have the ear problem the D2 has (made it hard to get in and out), but goes so far back none of the cables would fit (HDMI). Another reason it went on top. Oh, and it's just as bad about heat output (I'm a fiend about keeping temperatures down - must be my EE background).
Video, this is complex, as there are two things at odds here. The Denon by default is really not much more than a HDMI switch. This is actually good (in a way). Believe it or not, the video looks much better, and there are fewer issues. Think about that for a second. It's really only a switch (ok a smart switch that steals audio). Therefore there is zero processing going on, and you can see this by a slightly more detailed picture (think about it, scale 1 pixel wider and you have sacrificed some detail). I was surprised by this. Ok, that was nice, but here is where the Denon falls flat on it's face. It scales ok (I have not done a detailed comparison, but it seems similar), but there are problems. Denon went the minimalist approach, so there is no gamma or any of the other sophisticated controls available. No big deal to me, but it could be a big issue for some. It might be impossible to attach to some systems because of this (again, no problem for me now). Also, for analog there appears to be significant issues. So far I have failed to get my LD player black levels correct. It's almost as if Denon used the HD levels for the analog. They are about 7.5 IRE too high, and get this - they only allow for positive adjustment. Therefore so far there is no way to attach the LD player and watch it (ugly). Fairly useless. So for video in a non-complex system with only HDMI, Denon is very good. Not so much for analog or more complex systems. Please note, I have only been playing for a couple of days, so I may find more capability later.
Connectivity - well, it's got a boatload of inputs that's for sure. The ethernet connectivity is nice too, but mostly becasue you can set it up from any computer on the network. So many things have network play capability I'm not sure it's that big a deal. As far as flexability, so far I like the Anthem with the multiple setup of each input. For instance, if I do get the LD working, I'm not sure how to handle the sound. It wants me to pick only one - unfortunatly with AC-3 certain disks will be on one input and others on another...
Audio (CD and such) - hmm, let me just say they are in the same class (my opinion only).
Advanced audio (SACD, etc) - I'm going to have to give the nod to Denon here, but there are lots of compications. For instance I can now use the Dennon-Link for SACD (though the PS-3 is no slouch). Oppo fans stop reading here... I was using the Oppo for SACD and such, but I'm sorry, the 970 sucks big wind on ALL high res audio. Even my semi-educated ears can hear a huge difference (though I am keeping it for a DVD transport). As big a difference as there is between the Oppo and the PS3 (which I have been using instead for quite a while), to me there is an ever so slight difference between the D2 and the AVP. Not anything big (very small difference). Depending on the equipment, I suspect folks could go either way (except for those who can hear the difference between cables - they might think I'm crazy
Movie audio - we are talking HD-DVD and Blu-Ray here. I'm sure when the good players with internal decoding are out there will be no difference (much), but WOW, Master Audio and HD audio are great. I was probably doing something totally wrong with my Pioneer, but I have yet to hear as detailed and dynamic scores until I changed over to the AVP/2500 pair. Probably nothing to do with the D2 vs AVP, but having it - I can't go back. This is as big a difference as the OPPO / PS3 to me. (It's really one of the major reasons I did this).
Bottom line - sorry, there is no bottom line for these. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. I think it more depends on your tastes and what equipment you have as to which is appropriate for someone (again in my opinion). For now the AVP will be my main unit because of the movies
And please remember, this is a quick comparison, by one person, who is just a "user", not a trained professional, or self proclaimed videophile/audiophile. They will have their own more educated opinions (I have a flame suit, but prefer not to have to put it on)...