I have an SC-55 (which I bought as a refurb in 2012), and on 1/13 was offered the one-time repair or purchase of an SC-85 $549.00 (refurb) or an SC-95 $599.00 (refurb).
I elected to have mine repaired, because I did not think $599 for the SC-95 was a good enough deal with only a 90-day warranty. If the refurb came with a 1-year warranty I might have bitten.
Over the holidays Fry's had a one day sale on the SC-95 for $800 out the door, only $200 more, and that would be brand new and come with a 2-year warranty, if I am not mistaken. Not sure exactly when Pioneer went from 2 to 3 year warranty on the Elites.
The other reason I did not elect to upgrade to the SC-95 is because someone who did take the upgrade offer said their unit came back stamped with large letters (on the S/N sticker on the back? I can't recall) that said refurb only 90 day warranty or something to that effect. That would make it tougher to resell if I wanted to get rid of it when I find a deal on an SC-LX701.
My refurb SC-55 lasted 4 years and 9 months before it failed, and after I get mine repaired, I will be satisfied if I can squeeze a couple of more years out of it. I don't expect to get much more than 7-8 years out of an electronic device like a TV or an AVR these days.
I believe stuff is not built to last, but is relatively cheaper than the stuff built 2-3 decades ago. I prefer it that way. Cheaper entry point and simply upgrade with newer features more often.
My unit was picked up by FedEx yesterday on January 25 to go back to Pioneer. I will update the thread as to how long it takes to repair and ship back to me.
I really can't complain, but am grateful, since Onkyo/Pioneer is agreeing to repair my unit that was bought refurbished in the first place, and failed after 4 years and 9 months, well out of warranty.
Since they are under no obligation to fix these units which are well out of warranty, but have agreed to anyway, I consider this honorable and I will have no qualms about considering the purchase of a Pioneer in the future, since I like their AVR's with the D-class amps.
In fact, one of the reasons I did not opt to upgrade to the SC-95 they offered me is because I have my eye on the SC-LX701, which looks perfect for me. The new Elites come with a 3-year warranty it appears, which is not too shabby.