I just returned from the Magnolia center at B_stB_y. It was late at night and there was no associate to help me. BEST POSSIBLE SITUATION. I was able to use their computerized set-up to demo the Marantz-SR 5008, Marantz-SR 7008, Denon AVR-X3000, Yamaha RX-A830, and Yamaha RX-A1030 using their DVD player with no interruption.
Utilizing the "Direct (or comparable) setting on the receivers, I kept switching from one source the the next. Honestly, there was no comparison. The Yamaha RX-A1030 blew them all away. I went in expecting amazing "separation" from the Marantz and kept listening, hoping to hear it. No contest. The Yamaha RX-A1030 (even the 830), bested it on all marks. (I should state that I was using a "Spanish Guitar" + Back Beats CD that I found in the room).
Overall, I must have spent an hour switching sources, and it immediately became apparent that the Yamaha RX-830 and Yamaha RX-A1030 were vastly superior in music reproduction and "separating" high-end sound. In the end, I was sold on the SOLID build of the 1030 model (seemingly at least 10lbs heavier than the 830), as well as the VERY noticeable sonic differences.
Bottom line: After trolling numerous AVR forums for the past week, I just pulled the trigger on the Yamaha RX-A1030 on Cr_tchf_eld.com. Their 60-day return policy and Lifetime Tech Support sold me.
Can't wait for this beast to arrive!
PS - Running a set of 7.1 Klipsch (mixed and matched throughout the years). Will advise if I have any issues with the Yamaha RX-A1030