First, let me explain the background so it might help you all help me make the proper choice: I own a 4 year old Sony STR-DA555 ES receiver. I recently upgraded to MB Quart QLS1030 speakers from Energy C6s. I am auditioning them from my dealer (the link) based on what I heard in his showroom. When I took them home I was impressed how much better they sounded than my C6s. But they didn't sound as good as the 530s in his showroom (which are 1/2 as big and cost 1/2 as much!) and I wondered why? At low to moderate volumes I thought it sounded fine, great bass presence in relation to the rest of the music (listen to classic rock, alt rock, classical and folk). I also flatline so I don't add bass or treble controls, just like what's on the CD. Anyway, as I turn the volume up, I notice the bass starts to lag, doesn't rise up proportionately with the rest of the sound. It "falters" for lack of a better word. Well when I went back there, I realized his speakers were driven by NAD and B&K receivers. Now the B&K obviously is $3500, but the NAD (which also sounded better) was only their stereo receiver and cost $500?!?! I brought the CDs I'm intimately familiar with and flatlined his NAD. When I turned the volume up, the bass came up proportionately with the music, just like my Sony FAILED to do! I was like, what the hell is up with this? So I did research and found out some disturbing facts about my Sony (and Sony receivers in general). Check out this link which reprinted Stereo Review and S&V's measured output for receivers vs. what the manufacturers claim! The two Sony they tested, the DB1070, which came out a year later than mine and was considered a peer despite being non-ES, was rated at 100W x 6 and tested at only 36W! The semi-new 4ES had this result: "Our standard all-channels-driven power measurement could not be taken because, Sony tells us, the receiver was not designed to deliver full power to all channels simultaneously." Okay so my receiver sucks. I bought it cheap from Oade 4 years ago because I got it for $650 (MSRP $1000) and I didn't know better and didn't have something to compare it to (well an older Sony receiver). So now I want to get something that will do my two-channel music justice as well as DVDs. I plan on upgrading to SACD within 6 months. SELECTION CRITERIA: Please don't suggest too many other brands because, bottom line, I want to buy from my dealer which limits me to: Sony (nope), Pioneer Elite, NAD, Panasonic, B&K and McIntosh (both are too $$$). I get great pricing from them so competitors at the price range will likely cost me several hundred more than what I'm paying. I want to keep my upgrade to under a $1000, which the three options I'm laying out for your advice and input will let me achieve. Thanks for reading, here are my choices: 1. Keep the 555ES and add an Outlaw 7100 amp. This is my only non-dealer solution, because of the great word of mouth Outlaw gets. I realize my main problem is power. The sound at low volumes is fine for me from my 555. Also, this will open up the "separates" world for me, although i won't be able to get a new pre/pro for probably 1-2 years. My concern is: a) Will the 555ES be a decent pre/pro? I don't care about DTS-ES or DD-EX for now, I'll be content w/ regular DD/DTS. Or are the DACs for the 555ES bad and I'm just not noticing because the 555 amps suck and it's all masking a really bad receiver? Will I wish I upgraded to a whole new receiver? b) Will adding a 7100 give me the extra "oomph" and maintain sound quality at louder volumes that I'm looking for? 2. Buy an NAD T762 I have heard NAD with my own ears and know that they do make great sounding receivers. But I've heard some early units had probs that have been addressed. A few things that concern me, and if any T762 owners could chime in please do: a) Does the T762 drop digital signals? During layer changes on my RP91 my 555 loses the audio and takes 1/4 - 1 second to reacquire. Also, when I spin up a DTS disc for the first time, it takes 2-4 seconds to detect the DTS signal. Will the T762 do this? I've heard that even CDs with long blank spaces between tracks (like classical CDs) may cause the T762 to drop a digital coax signal? Maybe a better pre/pro (and thus I should go with option 1 and get a pre/pro next year) will take care of this? b) How is component video switching? I hear the bandwidth is only 30MHz which is the minimum spec, have users noticed any degradation? 3. Buy a Pioneer Elite 43TX (and a new 53TX at the same MSRP is due out soon) Of all the Japanese makers, this one seems to get the best word of mouth. On that link their amp sections performed really well, but I don't have much experience with their sound quality. From what I've read, most people rank the NAD as better in overall sound quality, which is of paramount importance to me. I put this option in because I know it's THX Select, and has more "bells and whistles" than NAD. But if the sound is going to be markedly superior on the NAD, it's worth a few bells and whistles to please my ears. Thanks for reading this long explanation, and all recommendations would be great!