I've always used receivers, and I recently took my first step towards separates by adding a Parasound 2003 amp to amplify my front sound stage (Paradigm Studio 100s and a CC450). My Denon 3200 is the "pre-amp" and amplified the surround channels. Eventually I'd like to get another 3 channel amp for 3 rear speakers and get rid of the Denon receiver altogether. At that time I'll be in the market for a pre/pro. I was under the impression that this simply allowed me to switch between audio input sources, did video switching, and possibly had on board decoding for Dolby Digital, DTS, etc. Is this correct or does it serve another function? Other than the quality of the decoding chips for digital sound formats, is there any reason that one pre-amp should "sound better" than another? If I wanted to spend $1500 or less and get a preamp that could decode Dolby Digital (+EX), and DTS (+ES discreet), and also had Pro-Logic II, and DTS NEO 6 and THX EX, what brands/models would I want to look at? Thanks!!