Sony recently shifted their higher end products to an exclusive retail channel, which seems to be the death-knell when it comes to online communities (which generally seem to favor online shopping and ID brands as a matter of convenience (and of course, getting lower prices due to competition)); the "top of the line" Sony parts that you can buy online are a far cry from high end units available from Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, etc (the STR-DN1020 and 2010 look nice, but we're talking department store nice, not hi-fi shop nice). The new ES units look "good" for their asking price, however finding them is probably tricky for most users (Best Buy only seems to sell the entry level 3500/3600 model, and I've read some interesting things about the "system integrators" that Sony's website directs users to (one thread the poster said the "system integrator" was a security system installer, despite Sony listing them as a retailer for ES products)).
That aside, Sony generally seems to take a bad rap in the enthusiast community, just like Bose within the audiophile community, and Apple within most computer communities - even if Sony released a product that absolutely set the bar, "Sony receivers have always been crappy" is the rule of thumb (similar arguments exist against Bose and Apple, and I'm sure you can come up with your own specialized examples in your respective industries - there's always some public figure that specialists love to hate). I'm not arguing either way, just making an observation. In some cases, yes, Sony has made bad products - but they don't have a monopoly on bad products (for the sake of example, I can't even begin to count the number of "issues" threads I've seen related to Onkyo receivers and their reliability or customer service).
On a smaller scale, I've seen the 4600ES post fairly reasonable numbers in reviews - it delivers (or at least the reviews I've read support the claim) on par with other receivers in the $1000-$1500 range, but consider that other manufacturers usually still have a few tiers up from that, and in some cases separates above that; it can't be all things for all people. Add the complexity of actually buying a unit (compared to say, a Yamaha RX-A2000, which you can pick up at a number of stores and sites in that same $1000-$1500 range), and the lack of variable pricing, and it becomes substantially less attractive/competitive. If anyone is interested:http://www.hometheater.com/content/s...es-av-receiverhttp://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...er=STRDA4600EShttp://www.digitaltrends.com/receive...4600es-review/