First, thanks to those that have responded to my other threads on some of the other boards. Your input has helped quite a lot, and I've narrowed down my final purchase to these 2 units. I found the Onkyo TX-SR500 at an onkyo authorized online retailer for $265 shipped. I also found a "display model" TX-DS494 for $219+tax ($237) at a local authorized retailer. It remains to be seen whether this display model comes with a manual or remote (they're looking for them), but it's never been hooked up or turned on, and would come with the full warranty. The price difference of $28 would be nice to offset the huge wad of cables and wires I'll need, but isn't my primary concern. I'm mainly interested in which unit is better. This forum and others (cheaphometheater.com in particular) really give high marks to the 494, but I haven't read a review of the 500 yet. I'm wary to assume it's basically the same thing because they changed the model number from TX-DS to TX-SR. Either it's an upgrade (good), or they found a way to save some money in the manufacturing process (not necessarily good). Is the SR500 just a fresh face / upgrade for the DS494, or should I stick with the older tried-and-true oft-reviewed model?