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I am somewhat of a newbie looking for some advice for a new home theater processor (and any other wisdom). I have a very good 2-channel system that I am cannibalizing to make a very good single a/v system, but not a cost-is-no-object system. I am not overly concerned about video quality (I don't have any home theater today, and still use a tube TV!), but I really want to maintain the best sound possible - for CDs and concerts on DVDs, Blu-ray etc. From what I gather, HDMI is a must if buying at this time. Here is what I have so far:

Aragon 8008 Mk II dual mono amp (2 x 200) for front speakers

Acurus 3x100 amp for center and rear speakers

B&W 803 Mk II Matrix main front speakers

B&W MTM matching front speaker

Processor - TBD

Player- TBD

Rear speakers - TBD

I'm thinking the low-$2000 price range of the Rotel 1570 or Marantz 8003 as the maximum I would spend for a processor, but I would love to get a used one for less or a new less expensive product if it has really good sound quality (Emotiva? Outlaw?). What is the best solution when sound is the focus? An older top-of-the-line processor without HDMI? What about a nice tubed pre-amp with a bypass for a lesser home theater processor? (Not sure I understand that option - it means you can just use HDMI for video, and the analog preamp for audio? That blows the audio benefit of HDMI for concerts DVDs correct?)

Any guidance from ye-who-know-more would be appreciated. Thanks.

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