I'm biased. I'm running a Yamaha 5550 in my bedroom setup and really like it. I would buy one again in a heartbeat! It sounds great and has more than enough power for my small Thiel mains (which aren't easy loads.)
The Panasonic has MOSFET power, which is nice for lower impedance speakers. It also has a cooling fan, which some don't like. Further, this unit has a 1 year warrantee, compared to two for most other decent manufacturers.
Personally, in the consumer electronics area (where I will reside for home theater), I prefer Onkyo and Yamaha as proven as well built systems capable of driving lower impedance speakers. Even some Sony units have discreet power for each channel.
If you are interested in DTS-ES decoding, I believe the Panasonic will do that and the Yamaha will not, unless you move over to their RS-VXXX series of recievers.
I have had the Panasonic and similar Yamaha's in my home system.
I think that you will find the Panasonic to be warmer and larger sounding (more like a theater sound). I has also been my experience that Yamaha's sound slightly distorted on the subwoofer channel. Panasonic has variable sub cross over settings.
I forgot to add that the fan is totally silent on the Panasonic.
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