[quote=toby10;16854213]Well, it is flawed if you absolutely will not look at units that may have such unwanted features.
If AVR x @ $500 and AVR y @ $600 have very similar features that the buyer is looking for, but AVR x ($100 less expensive) has HDM and upconverting, why should he care? To use your logic he should not even consider the $100 less expensive unit.
Example: Yamaha RX-V2700 was replaced with the newer RX-V3800
Several times, due to a number of retail promotions, the newer RX-V3800 (HD audio decoding, 1080p upscaling, plus other added features) could be purchased new for less than the discontinued RX-V2700 (no HD audio decoding, upscaling to 1080i) could be had for used. Which would you have recomended?
I have to agree with Toby here. I can only relate my own experience. About 15 years ago, well past 50,I had never listened to anything but an am radio and a TV before. My neighbor showed me his new CD player. I was fascinated by that shiny little disc. I went out and bought a "Sony surround" on sale for $149 with free speakers. My friend screamed "you should have got pro logic" That started it. Over the next 3 years, I had eight different receivers.
I then reallized two things: I cannot buy'em as fast as they can make'em, and it is totally impossible to find the exact perfect receiver with only those features you want and no others. The manufacturers do this on purpose to keep us buying their "boxes". They will always have new "boxes" to sell us. Everthing is a compromise.
Without agonizing and pulling hair over endless minute specs that I don't undrstand anyway, I came up with a little formula that has always worked for me.
Get a good brand with at least 100 watts output. An Onkyo or a Yamaha with 90 or 110 watts is better than some that advertize 1000 watts.
The other thing is find a receiver that is adequate for your needs and then BUY the next model up.
I deviated from this and it cost me a few bucks. There always seems to be one or two receivers that are the "darlings" on the internet. In my case, it was the Onkyo 605 and the Yamaha 663. Last year, when I replaced my 10 year old Onkyo, I bought an Onkyo 605. It was adequate, and sounded good, but It ran too hot and I didn't like it. If I had followed my own rule and bought a 705, I might still have it.
I had never had a Yamaha before and wanted to try one. After reading online about the 663, I bought the 863. After using it for 10 months, I have not regretted buying it. Is it perfect? NO, but it is indeed the best receiver that I've ever had. Having said all this, I'm not sure that it is any better than an ONkyo 806 or a Pioneer in the same price range.