I use an Emotiva XPA-3 with my JTR 228HT L/C/R, but I don't think I could tell the difference between that and my Onkyo TX-NR1007. As to harshness? no...not in my experience.
Both sound excellent. I guess I just have the amp because it was the next typical AVS forum enthusiasts right to passage, and I don't have to 'worry' about power limitations for anything I want to do with my system since it puts out 300watts RMS to all three channels and also takes a bit of load of my Onkyo AVR.
FWIW - Using an instant switching mechanism I built, three of us (carp, scrappydue, and myself) listened to My Onkyo AVR, carp's Pioneer Elite AVR, my Emotiva XPA-3, and a $20 Lepai T-amp level matched and balanced to about -10 below reference at my house and couldn't tell the difference on neither my 228HTs crossed over at 70hz, nor scrappydues Klipsch RF-6 running full range at the same comparison. Did you catch that? A $20 cheapo T-amp had the same quality sound as a Onkyo, Pioneer, and Emotiva amp for typical music listening.
Now - I wouldn't try to push a t-amp to 15 over reference, or even above reference - but most any modern amp will sound quite fine to normal listening levels with these high efficiency speakers.
In fact the only amp we could reliably tell a difference in was the Onkyo HTIB which colored the sound compared to the other amps we tested. It seemed to have some sort of built in, non defeatable EQ that boosted bass a bit. The t-amp was more accurate than the Onkyo HTIB.