With rapid improvement in digital technology and all the new standards, it seems like AVs are becoming more like PCs. Big improvement, lower prices. Now it looks like some well-branded companies are trying steal the thunder of the 'separates' producers, particularly at the lower end of that market. Witness the Pioneer Elite 49, Yammy Z and a few others. To the vets here, I am wondering: have the separates producers matched the recent pace of technology development in the AV market and have prices fallen as sharply? Maybe the separates market will always remain relatively small. Maybe manufacturers have to charge much more money, owing to the cost of the materials and to the need to generate a higher profit margin to compensate for lower volume. But I wonder: could any of these companies try to penetrate the larger buying public with a stellar marketing campaign offering neatly combined packages (preamp, tuner, multichannel amp) at comparable prices with midtier AV receivers ($1000 to $2000 range). Granted, there would be some risk involved, and it would require much higher economies of scale. Perhaps it would have to be undertaken by a brand-name manufacturer. Or perhaps it's just not realistic, but hasn't anyone actually ever tried?