OK I promised that I would give you my impressions of my new Yamaha 2500. Now remember that I am not nearly as knowledgeable or articulate as many of the people that I have read reviews from so keep that in mind. First off I have the Yamaha hooked up to an Athena AS-C1 center, AS-B1.2 fronts, Athena Micra surround and rears and an SVS 20-39+. The only other receiver I have to compare it to is my old Pioneer VSX-815. OK first let me start with the set-up. First I used the Microphone to do the automatic set-up(YPAO). The on screen menu was the first real advantage over the Pioneer that I noticed. It made navigation a breeze. Now for the results. The YPAO finished its test tones and I popped in a DVD concert Puddle of Mud and tested it out. It sounded "OK" not what I would call right, had a bit of an echo it seemed. I checked the settings and it had some of my speakers set to large that should have been small. OK I decided to get out my Avia disk and do a manual set up with my Ratshack meter. Once again I found the on-screen menu to be very easy to navigate.I disabled the sub crossover, adjusted the SPL to 85 on all the speakers and 87 on the sub. Then I stuck back in the Puddle of Mud Dvd once again, like night and day. The sound was very crisp and the bass was well defined. I tried a few CD's after this to test it musically. I used everything from George Strait, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, to AC/DC. In my opinion it is superior to the Pioneer but perhaps not as much as one thinks. The Pioneer was actually very musical for the price. Now its time to test it out in movies. First I wanted to test out the DTS so I chose Pearl Harbor "First Strike". WOW! This is where this receiver is clearly in a different class than the Pioneer. The planes not only sounded just like they were flying over from left to right but they felt like it. It really brought out another level of LFE from the SVS that I had not experienced before. Everything was so detailed. I could hear glass falling back to the ground seconds after explosions and could feel the distant explosions. Very impressive!! Now on to the Dolby digital encoding. I picked out Spider Man 2 and Star Wars I The Phantom Menace (For the pod race of course )Once again I was very impressed with this unit. Once again clearly in another class than the Pioneer. During both movies I just could not help but smile. All in all I would say that the Yamaha is a terrific performer. Now that you can find them at quite a discount due to the release of the 2600 it is a great bargain. Musically it is very good, I wouldn't say great but very good. For HT it is spectacular! I watch about 80% movies and 20% music so I am very pleased. Pros: Excellent for both Dolby Digital and DTS. Powerful bass and crisp highs. On screen menu makes navigation easy. Cons: If I have to pick it apart I would say that it could be easier to switch the different formats and it really does not need all of the formats. It can be a bit confusing. I see why there have been complaints about the back lit remote. The labels interfere and it can be difficult to read at night. On a whole I am very pleased with my purchase. I feel I have made a significant jump in quality from my Pioneer. As I said I have very little to compare it to so you Pioneer fans do not be offended. If I were to offer a fair comparison I would have to use one of the receivers in Pioneers Elite line. Hope you enjoy my perspective.