So I'm looking to replace my Onkyo 876 in my greatroom (20x30', 14' vaulted ceilings and opens up to the dining AND kitchen). Currently have a 7.1 setup with Aperion 6T's/6C (6ohm) up front and 5B's running surround rear/side duty and a HSU ULS-15 rounds it out.
The 876 works fine (my 3rd Onkyo), but it only has 4 HDMI ports which is no longer enough and I'm constantly annoyed that digital sources (HDMI/optical) can't be routed to Zone2 (which I play through a whole house controller/amp) because analog out from my Tivo isn't sync'd to the HDMI and you get a noticeable out-of-sync problem between the 7.1 & speakers in the kitchen so my wife is always turning down the 7.1 when she's cooking so she can hear the game which drives me nuts. Maybe some day I'll add a 2nd sub and possibly a pair of 5B's front high, but who knows if I ever will- I've been running this setup since late 2009. Last time I researched this, front wide was much better then front high, but I don't really have a way to do wides in my room, so I figure a 2nd sub would be a much better investment.
So far I've been going back and forth between the Denon X4000 and Onkyo 929 / 1010.
Obviously, Denon quality historically has been much better then Onkyo, but I've never had a problem. The biggest concern I have is the 125W from the X4000 may not be up to driving the 6T's/6C up front in such a large room. A big reason I originally went with the 876 was the 140W/Ultra2 certification and it's done quite well for my needs. The X4000 weighs only about 27lbs vs the +50 of my 876 so I'm a bit worried that it's 125W is a bit optimistic. Also 6 HDMI inputs is really the absolute minimum I need. 7+ would be better. I don't care about multi-HDMI out. One nice thing the Denon has is can send digital optical sources to Zone2 while the Onkyo's only can do HDMI, but realistically everything I care about sending to Zone2/3 is either network based (Pandora/XM Radio) or HDMI so it's not that big of a deal.
So I think that leaves it between the 929 and 1010. Basically, either 9.2 or 7.2 and slightly higher output/ch. I don't care about wifi/bluetooth since my AV closet is wired for ethernet. I figure I'll be much more likely to add a 2nd sub then the front high channel, so no real reason not to get the cheaper 1010 other then perhaps getting a lemon. The money I save can get me an AppleTV to add AirPlay. Not sure if the HDMI board problems have been fixed in the xx10 series? I've got pretty good cooling in my AV closet so maybe that helps. All things being equal, I figure the 1010 is probably the way to go since chances of me going to a 9.2 setup are pretty slim.
I suppose I could get a X4000 + 3 channel amp (say an XPA-3) and have the best of all worlds, but that's a lot more $$$. At some point though, if I keep upgrading receivers every 5 years then maybe it's a lot cheaper in the long run? Still though, not like I'm going to find Auddysey EQ32/SubEQ in a $800 receiver, so how much money can I actually save? Is there some killer feature in the X4000 that I missed that might be useful?