So I went by BB on my lunch break. The first two folks, while nice enough, weren't able to really get detailed in their comparison talks bewteen the models they had on display in the Magnolia room. I was disappointed, and no further towards narrowing things down, but then the manager showed up and really knew his stuff. They only had one Yamaha in the Magnolia room, which was surprising, so I would have liked to see more of those, but oh well.
I'm going to look up a few of the model numbers and read reviews and compare specs further, but it looks like from the selection they have at BB, it will be between the Denon 3808 and 4308, Pioneer Elite VSX-92TXH and VSX-94TXH, and the Yamaha 1800 and 3800.
The Denons were more expensive for what seemed like the same features. Is there a real reason for that? Are they that superior in SQ? The Yamaha was just ugly as all get out. I've never owned Pioneer stuff, but they were by far the best looking units. This guy was a Denon fan but went with the Pioneer Elite 92TXH instead, and was able to confirm and talk directly about some of the features on it, and made it sound pretty nice.
If anyone has any first-hand experience with any opf those models listed above or could tell me why one is better than another, I'm all ears.
Part of me is actually leaning back towards doing another HTIB if I can find one that has the full HDMI switching capabilities and TrueHD. I've been happy enough with the sound of the current one I have, and it would be nice to not have to spend a lot on speakers later, and to instantly have two full setups in two different rooms. I know separate stuff would sound "better", but a couple grand better? I just don't know. It's not like what I have totally sucks.