I demo'd the Yamaha 1020 and the Sony DA-STR3700ES in my home. I have a pair of large Dahlquist speakers for the front and Bose 201's for surrounds. I have no idea if I'll ever add a center since I've never used one and never heard a major difference at other people's homes. I also do not want to add a sub because these speakers can handle anything.
That being said, I set both systems up quickly with the included mics and sat down to listen. The Yamaha was able to recreate music so perfectly it sounded like the instruments were in the room with me. Sound affects were crystal clear. However the low end and the dialogue were a little lost. I got the feeling that YPAO didn't compensate well for the absence of a front or sub, which it did detect. It even detected that one of my wires was out of phase on the surround sound, which the Sony did not.
The Sony sounded solid, and much more impressive on movies, where the low end was powerful and dialogue crystal clear, even warm and pleasant. For music, the Sony was nowhere near as accurate, but it had a very nice sound, and a lot of power. Where the Yamaha might sound harsh at high volumes (realistic if someone was blowing a horn in your ear), the Sony would smooth everything out.
Both had great menus and connectivity, with a slight advantage to Sony for more flexible customization and a B set of stereo speakers in addition to the second zone. Where the Sony ranked was their tuner. I had a tough time getting AM or FM stations to tune well, but the Yamaha had HD Radio and received the everything effortlessly. If I intentionally screwed with the antenna, it would slip into the analog broadcast. I listen to a lot of radio, so that wasa big deal, as was clear AM radio and the bonus FM stations.
Following all of this, I tested the 820 vs the 1020 side by side to see if the 820 had the same sound and power. I was in a Best Buy Magnolia with instant switching, and I couldn't hear any difference. I think I could get the low end and dialogue to sound fine too, I just didn't have the time to sort it out in the settings.
So I decided to buy the 820 until I realized it didn't have HD Radio. I'm shocked that Yamaha doesn't put it in the entire Aventage line and that Sony leaves it out of all their receivers. It seems the only other one that had it is Denon, which sounds fine, but I don't like the look or feel.
I still want to demo the HK, but they aren't connected on display where I have been, and the place that gave me the other demos doesn't sell it.
Sorry for all if the rambling here, but you asked for it.