Past experience certainly has its place, that is why HK was on my list to look at when I was researching. I had looked at Onkyo, but in the end HK won my heart and ears again.
The reasons I took the HK over the Onkyo (also on that list)
1. Smooth sweet HK sound. Nothing else sounds quite like an HK
2. Video upconversion from component, composite and Svideo to HDMI.
3. OSD over HDMI
Here's how I set mine up:
BluRay -->HDMI in --> HDMI out @1080i (max for my TV)
HDDVD --> HDMI in --> HDMI out @1080i
Dish HDDVD Sat receiver --> Component vid/Optical aud in --> HDMI out @720p
HDMI upconversion from other sources is maxed out at 720p on the HK. Because of all the compression and such that sat and cable providers do, I can see no difference between them at 1080i vs 720p.
Because I only needed HDMI to the TV, this helped clean up the wiring mess a bit. All but one wire is all managed behind my A/V rack.