Re: Upgrading Receiver
I recently purchased the Yamaha RX-V3800 and I'm very happy with it so far.
I directly compared it to the Denon 3808ci. In the show room, at the same volume, with the same music and with both receivers in pure or direct modes I enjoyed the sound of the Yamaha over the Denon. To my ears they both sounded good with the Denon's sound being a little more upfront and "there" but the Yamaha seemed warmer and cleaner. I'm talking small differences here but noticeable to me. Obviously I took to the latter sound. Although I'm not a fan of Onkyo because of their looks and tendency to run Very hot, the models in my price range got excellent reviews.
Hope I offered some insight, good luck with your choice. Listen, listen, listen.