I didn't know Crutchfield is usually priced higher, that's good information.\n\nHDMI units run a little hotter than non? I do have a place on the entertainment center that is more open, I may be able to place it there, but i do need to get need to get permission from the wife first though... I don't run things too loud but I think the power amps do heat up regardless. My Sony has a huge heat sink for the power amps, i assume the newer ones do too.\n\nI wasn't sure how SONY is these days.\n\nHow is the sound quality from the different manufactures differ? variation among brands and compared to my older Sony? I'm running a small set Polks. \n\nShould i get hung up over signal\/noise specs?\n\nIf you have local home theater stores you can visit. You maybe able to get demos of the different AV receivers, and compare differences in the audio, from the different brands compared to your Sony receiver. You could carry along some of your audio material that you listen too as reference, and have it played. But most likely there maybe a difference in sound, due to localization of their products, compared to your listening room or area and differences in devices and speakers in use. However, you would be able to hear something that is of your personal taste.