Here is my opinion, which has been posted twice before...I don't see how one can argue against it.
1st of all, I don't think everyone wants to go out and buy a new receiver just b/c they just bought a new disc player. I personally just bought a $1k receiver 1 year ago. Why would I want to buy a new one to decode the new codecs when the disc player will do it for me? That's ridiculus! And it will take 1-2 years for the codecs to trickle down to "affordable" receivers for J6P. That's why receivers have analog ins, to be somewhat future proof for new sound techs. This is what makes mandatory inclusion onboard a GOOD THING. It saves people money and allows them to enjoy the newest sound codecs without upgrading everything they own at once. It allows them to choose whether or not to purchase a better receiver and when. If you were to follow your opinion logically (with no onboard decoding on disc players), you would buy a new player AND reciever when 1) DTS started showing up on discs, 2) when DVD-A came out 3) when SACD came out 4) when HDCD came out...thats a lot of recievers and a waste of money if you ask me. Heck, I didn't really even have to buy the receiver I have now. I still have my old Pioneer receiver that doesn't decode DolbyDigital (it does Stereo and Prologic) with analog ins that could still accept any decoded channel from any DVD player (as well as my HD-DVD player). Its a solid receiver, plenty of power, just not up with the current codecs. That's what onboard decoding does for people. Whether its the BEST decoding is a different story, but its nice to have options isn't it?
2nd, how many "good" players do you know of that play a disc without the option of onboard audio decoding? Except for EX and ES, I think pretty much ALL "good" players do 5.1 DD and DTS right? And I would suspect that any quality disc player will have these decoders OR you couldn't call it quality. I would expect all new disc players to decode 5.1 of DD+, 5.1 DTS-HD core (non-lossless, which is just regular DTS from DVDs renamed) and at least 2 channel TrueHD, and DTS-HD lossless eventually- as does the HD-DVD player (BTW, these can be firmware upgraded to 5.1). We can leave the 6, 7, and 8 channel stuff to receivers (as well as full-blown surround lossless) This way you can use any receiver with analog ins for at least 5.1 audio and enjoy it. Can you imagine how much criticism they would get if players didn't allow this flexibility? (oh wait, just read the Samsung BD criticisms) And I find it highly unlikely that if they didn't decode the audio codecs that they would DECREASE the price of the player (again, see ANY BD player) If you truly believe that, you are not very realistic. I'm still laughing b/c the SONY BD player can't even read CDs!
So I would argue that NOT making the audio decoding mandatory, you INCREASE the cost to the end consumer and severely limit their opportunites to hear 5.1 surround sound codecs. There is really no excuse for a $1000 player to not decode these new aduio codecs except greed. They expect you to buy the newest receiver once they are available. It should make everyone mad, not just me!