My main point was that If someone is worried about audio quality and looking to upgrade pieces, put the money on the things that have the largest impact on what we hear: the speakers and the room. I haven't heard your particular model but I have auditioned some more current models that replaced them. I have nothing against your speakers or anyone's for that matter
. In my first post, I was trying to get more information for why you were looking to move to the Denon.
You have answered at least a couple of my questions by stating in your last post that a) current sound quality is not an issue (no point in recommending new speakers) and b) you are looking for more utility out of your system. I'm still not sure if you plan to go with JUST the Denon or if you are going to use it as a Pre-pro. As I said in my case: lower SPL requirements, speakers that are easy to drive, etc. it made sense for me to try the Denon. I was also looking to downsize the footprint of my electronics as my current 2.1 setup will eventually end up in my bedroom and I didn't want to have a 75lb amp in there
. Your speakers, room size, and listening habits may dictate that you use external amps instead of the ones in the Denon. Price wise the Onkyo Pre (and a couple of others) and Denon AVR are essentially the same.
If you aren't looking to downsize for space, you already have an amp. At that point, I would look into the Onkyo Pre-Pro (issues aside it seems to be one of the best values out) that was mentioned, or some of the other Pre-Pros that are available or soon will be (I think Emotiva and Outlaw have one on the way). Be sure to see if any of the bugs/issues will have an impact on the way you use your system.
Another thing I would look for in a processor would be ease of support. One of the nice things about the Denon AVR is that the firmware is user upgradeable without risk of voiding the warranty. I wish this was the case with the Onkyo. It can be user updated but I think you have to send it in to the factory to not void the warranty should something go wrong.
Also will the sources for music be analog, digital, or both? See if you can read some opinions on how each unit handles playback from different sources. It sounds like whatever you choose will be a nice upgrade in terms of features, inputs, and flexibility so good luck in your search!