In my plans for a very small-space home theater, I had originally listed a Pioneer 1014 receiver as my choice. It was pointed out to me, however, that I had no need for that much power, or 7 channels for that matter, to power a small 5.1 (but possibly someday 6.1!) setup in a tiny NYC apartment. However, I want the ability to decode Dolby Digital-EX (I think. I mean, why not?) as 6.1 is a likely expansion in my future, so I wasn't able to go TOO far down the receiver tree. The receivers in the subject are the ones I've looked at so far, all priced in the $250-$300 range street, and all with similar features. I'm looking, now, for user reviews from anybody that's played with any of them. Here are my thoughts, what few I have: Pioneer: It has MCACC, though it's manual. Still, I'd probably use the built in mic/tones and save myself the $40 on an SPL meter (I know it's not quite as ideal, maybe, but it seems likely to be plenty good enough). Also, it seems to be just the tiniest bit cheaper than the others. Onkyo: It's actually a 7.1 receiver - their 6.1, for some reason, seems to not decode DD-EX. It also comes with a learning remote, which may be useful for learning my (probably not programmed) Xbox remote codes if I don't feel like coughing up the cash for a nicer thing. Denon: Has only 3 (or 2? Picture shows 2 optical/1 coax, text says 1 of each) digital audio inputs (the others have 5 and 7 respectively), but has THREE component inputs, so I could plug in my Xbox, a Universal Disc Player, and an HDTV tuner thingy all into it, assuming I someday had each of those things (though, honestly, will probably continue using the Xbox for DVD playback in the foreseeable future) EDIT: Just found the Sony STR-DE597. It's cheap. Has very few analog audio inputs, but I don't really need a lot, and it has a reasonable number of digital audio (3) and component video (2) ins, considering it's about $100 less than the other receivers here. Must do more research, but comments in-thread are welcome adn invited. EDIT: Also, the Yamaha HTR-5740. Looks about the same, feature-wise, as the others (though the Sony is skimpier, as mentioned). Could be missing something, though. It retails for about $200, though, which is cheaper than all but the Sony. Might lean towards this one... At this point I'm leaning towards the Pioneer just because it's a bit cheaper and mostly has the features I want (S-video upconversion to component would be nice, but not necessary, and none seem to have it at this level - I'm not so lazy I can't switch the inputs on the TV if need be). Are there any other receivers I should look at, or compelling reasons to pick one of these over the others? I looked at Harmon-Kardon, but they didn't seem to have anything in the same bracket. P.S. This will power a set of primarily Axiom systems, if there's anything I know about matching these receivers to their fairly bright sound.