In my job, I'm lucky enough to generally borrow amps that have come in for testing and voicing and I do in fact very rarely buy any AV gear because of this. Not ever having any money contributes to this policy as well . However I've actually gone and bought an AV amplifier! In the last few weeks I've been fortunate enough to test the Denon 2803, Marantz SR7400, Sony STRDA3000ES, Yamaha RXV1400 and Pioneer AX3 both in the dem room and in the comfort of my own home. I have owned a Marantz SR7300 for about a year and this served as a useful comparison. After these tests, I've bought the Pioneer. Now because its a slow day I thought I'd explain my choice and answer some straw man arguments that people may have posed were I asking which of these amps to buy. The AX3 doesn't have PLIIx Neither did my previous amps, so I'm not missing it. I'm also locked into 5 channels for the immeadiate future so I don't have any speakers doing nothing when I'm watching terrestrial. THe Marantz and the Yamaha both had it and in the dem room I was very impressed with it but it didn't translate into a real world advantage when I got them home. The AX3 has no component video switching This initially smacked of Pioneer being cheap until it hit me that many people have "lop sided" systems like mine where the video source is not sizably (or any) more expensive than the audio side. As such like me, they have no all important component video input to be switching in the first place! Telly's are something I have to pay full whack for so my 28" JVC 100hz will be with me for a while. This means Scart and S-Video for a while yet. The AX3 only has 4 back panel digital inputs How many do you want? With DVD,DVDR and Sky+ I've still got a spare coax and the front optical for ilicit X-Boxing. OK so with the Marantz, I'd have three spare but I'm still not clear what I'd be plugging into them. The Marantz and the Denon are both better in stereo Thankfully the Pioneer is in an viewing only enviroment- my Marantz stereo amp slaughtered all the mentioned amps so I'm lucky enough to be free of this little niggle. The Pioneer has the nastiest speaker terminals at the price point No argument here, they are sufficient to fit my existing cable in but I'll concede they suck. So why did I buy it? Well in every home test I did, it excelled. It simply sounded better than all bar the Yamaha (which could not justify how much more I'd have to pay for it) to this set of ears with the speakers in place- and there's little chance of me changing them . It has one of the best setup options I've encountered (black marks to the Sony here, that nearly left in kit form it was so fustrating) allowing me to extract a great deal of the amps potential for little real effort. It also allowed me to make use of those two channels that would otherwise be dormant with the other amps. It was good enough for me to miss it when it had to go back. Therefore I've just bought one and managed to have an argument with myself in the process . I suppose one last hypothetical question...... How come you didn't choose the Marantz as it is of course built by your employers distributor? No comment .