Re: Musical in-wall speakers on a relative budget.
I don't think you would be wrong to choose either. I think the Marantz's are made in the same factory as the Denon's FWIW.
Both offer all the new audio formats and HDMI 1.3 switching and excellent sound, the new Denon GUI seems pretty slick, I am not sure Marantz updated theirs for the 8002 (the GUI in the 8001 is bland and boring but effective, just not as pretty as the Denon. Take this FWIW as you will likely only use it once or twice and then never see it again...)
$2K puts you into a pretty sweet spot in the receiver market, there are many great units, you might want to look into Pioneer Elite as well, a solid player in the upper end market of receivers as well.
Ken Taraszka, MD