Ok I just came home from a listening test between NAD 765 and Denon 3808, both costing exactly the same in local currency.
Setup: Room approx 4x6 meters (monitor being on the short end)
TV: Samsung around 40" (didnt check exact specs as i was there for the sound), but one of their nicer ones
DVD player Denon 1940 which did the upscaling (nice player btw, the upscaler didnt seem to suffer from any bad things as one might think after reading these forums)
Speakers: 5.0 setup (i dont own a sub myself so we turned it off)
Front: B&W DM 684
Center: B&W HTM62
Back: B&W DM606/605 (i forgot which sorry)
Test material: Saving Private Ryan (Omaha beach scene) and some various music.
Usability: Regarding both, I wasnt really impressed at all I must admit. But heck you just have to set up the thing once, and I am not impressed by the audessy in these units (and im not the only one it seems :P). So really no pros or cons here, autodection of playmode seemed to work fine on both units.
Features: Since we let the DVD handle the scaling I cant really comment on that part, but its the same chip in the Denon DVD and Amp, and from what I could tell it was quite good. Also the Denon got a bit extra connectors and can scale analog sources to HDMI wich the 765 can't do (the 775 and 785 should however do this).
In the feature departmen I'd much rather have the Denon, because then you dont have to think about your source, it can be component or hdmi and 460i or 1080p it doesnt matter. But with the NAD you need to think. And I didnt even get to see the Denons network function.
And now to the important part surround-sound!
When you increase the volume when the soldiers exit their ships on the beach, it feels good. The voices are clearly heard, dynamics seemed good. All in all the scene was enjoyable, and it was clear that the surround was on. But I wern't blown away, I knew that i had turned off the sub so I might lack some punch. But I still didnt feel like I was listening to a surround system with a total value exeeding 4k$ (estimate).
So over to the NAD:
From the first granade landing it was very obvious that NAD spend their money where it counts, the punch! Suddenly the B&W's awoke from their slumber and played like they should! The bass turned from soft and silent, to snappy and loud, without increasing the volume of the rest, or sacrifice clarity.
The same thing was painfully obvious on stereo music, the Denon clearly lacked the power to drive the DM684 well.
And thus my conclusion is clear, if you got floor speakers that are a bit tough to drive (like the B&W's seems to be), stay well clear of the Denon, the extra bells and whistles really do not make up for the loss in audio quality. And if the video scaling is important the larger NAD's should feature this (with an increased cost ofcourse).
I got myself the NAD, and the Denon1940 to go with it (the NAD DVD player sucked value/$ wise), and will hopefully recieve them on friday
ps. I think the Denon would work great with smaller 2-way shelf speakers like maybe a Dali Concept 2/1 set and a sub.