I hedged my bets as well. I bought an extra xr57 when I heard that Panasonic was going to discontinue making receivers. I got the very last unopened one at J&R. My thought process was the same as yours, and also considered having one of them modded in the future. Its still in the box.
There are some great threads on modding Panny's, which are enlightening, and the source of my frustration. If Panasonic wanted to, they could build a receiver with some slightly more upscale "guts" (cables, power cords, coils, transistors and numerous other parts I admittedly have no understanding of). Yes, they sound great, but for just small bump in the price range, they could be even better.
It would also be nice to know that one could upgrade to better speakers in the future, if they chose to. I have fallen in love with Class D, and for now, living in an NYC apartment, the Panny is more than sufficient. But the lack of watts limits one from bumping up to some of the more power hungry speakers. I would be dismayed at having to go back to bulky, inefficient amps. But to get true jaw dropping audio, the only choices right now are needlessly expensive receivers (with far too many bells and whistles), or the even more bank account draining world of separates.
This time around, It would be nice to get a clear answer from Panasonic. (Are you going to stay in the game or not?) Let us know so we can make clear decssions.
I think its the least they could give their loyal consumers who have stuck by for a very a long time (some since the xr25), despite the arrogant lashings by magazine editors and other "experts." Why jerk us around...yet again?
Ultimately, a Class D that would compete with the higher end Denons, Sony's, Pioneers and others in power, but had a lower price point due to its efficiencies, could be wonderful (and successful). A solid receiver that will last years, not just until next year's model.
Unfortunately, Panasonic's history of awful marketing and sales strategy of these receivers has given them a bad name. It may be too late, and we may have to wait for another manufacturer to make the leap. Hopefully, some one will pick-up where Texas Instrument left off and continue work on the T-chip as well.