I picked up my 94 on Thursday and set it up on Friday, replacing my venerable VSX-45TX. Here are a few observations:
Call me old school, but I have always seen a direct correlation between the quality of an electronic component and its overall heft. To that end, I was somewhat disappointed to find that the 94 is nowhere near as massive as my old 45 boat anchor. The remote is too light also - although the ergonomics and layout of the new remote are better, somehow the old one felt more substantial. The new one feels like it will fly to flinders if I accidentally drop it on the floor - of course it is so light that it probably will land softly!
I was very pleased with the sound, even though I have yet to be able to get TrueHD in bitstream output from my HD-DVD source (as has been discussed at length here). I haven't hooked up any sort of an Ethernet connection to the beast (since my computer is in another room) and I have no idea if I even will.
HDMI switching seems fine between my DV-79Avi and my Toshiba HD-A2. The only problem is my Motorola Comcast cable box/DVR. It has an HDMI output, but it will not work through any switching device. The only way I can get video output is to hook it directly to my plasma's single HDMI input. Because of this, I am using component video and optical digital outputs from the cable box to the 94, upconverting to the HDMI from the component connection.
To those of you replacing an older Elite receiver, I found the basic discrete codes (on/off, volume up, volume down, etc.) are the same as the VSX-45. I am having a problem learning some of the discrete source (input) codes to my Home Theater Master MX-500. These require a two button push, so I may have to do some more fiddling and store them as macros to get them to work.
Now for video performance...when it comes to my DVD or HD-DVD sources, and the HD channels on my cable box, they look great. The colors seem more vivid, the blacks are better (I haven't used my Video Essentials disc to readjust the plasma, but overall, the picture looks more "movie theater").
The down side so far is that non-HD broadcasts off the cable box look pretty bad, there is an overall blurriness or smearing that was never noticeable before. I also seem to get different screen sizes from different channels that I never saw before - black bars at top and bottom on some, not on others. I have tried resetting the resolution and aspect ratio in the video parameters, to no avail.
Overall, I am happy with the purchase, but would like to have full HDMI switching (maybe there is an updated cable box available from Comcast), and I will need to solve the non-HD broadcast video problem.
I just wish the beast were heavier, though!