Even unsophisticated AVR purchasers who don't spend time researching a potential unit they are about to plunk down hard earned cash for know the reputation of Onkyo as the units you can fry an egg on... the heat they produce has been ledgendary in the AVR world. I say "has" because the
X08/XX8 models and the X09/XX09 models seem to have decreased their BTU outputs. No scientific study, no facts or sources to quote... just the comments from many posters here that have upgraded their Onkyo's over the last 2 years and remarked on the facts they can now place their hands on the tops of their new units and not need a trip to the Burn Unit when the AVR had been playing reference level movies/music for a significant length of time.
As far as ventilation & circulation around the unit... Hey! Who didn't read the instruction manual that came with the AVR?
It clearly states the minimum requirements these units need for proper ventilation & air circulation... even the units bought at Walmart.
(Note to M Code and KidHorn - I'm not dissing you... I have read many of your posts in many different threads, and both of you have my complete respect and appreciation for your valuable contributions here!)
Problem is, even the units that have the proper ventilation and air circulation, even units with additional protection of external fans have problems & failures directly related to heat issues... (not all problems & failures, but a significant number to be sure). Heat has always been the mortal enemy of all electronics.
Onkyo does offer alot of bang for your buck that has made them very attractive the the consumer. I was delighted to find my 708, which allowed me to "play" with 11.2 speaker set up (but at only 7.2 at a time!) so I could experience rears/wides/heights... without having to re-wire (disconnecting and connecting the different speakers) on the back of the AVR. But all that bang for the buck does have to be "paid for" some how/some way.
Onkyo will continue to sell lots of units... its price points for what is offered can be very tempting. But those who have had unpleasant experiences with failed units, and/or customer service nightmares will naturally avoid any future unpleasantness at all costs, and no one can blame them! Some might attempt the Onkyo waters one more time
in the hopes the first time was a fluke, simply because of the features offered and the out of pocket cost. Best of luck for all that do! Some might have been fortunate to have a flawless unit (or have a history of several
flawless units) and would happily give their cash to Onkyo when they purchase their next upgrade, and no one should fault these people either.
Personnally, when I do upgrade to a 9.2 AVR that is capable of doing 11.2 with external amps, (and I'm anxiously awaiting to see the Denon 4313 specs and MSRP) I will consider the equivalent Onkyo/Integra models, but honestly, they will have to practically give me the thing for pennies on the dollar, to settle the uneasy feeling that I have just been "fooled me twice"