Re: IS IT HYPE FOR RECEIVERS OVER $1000
There are many Receivers available for over $1000 that sonically blow away the competition. The best receivers I've ever heard are from Arcam. I'm not sure if they have a HDMI 1.3 version out yet. They definately have HDMI 1.2 receivers. Some magazines have even stated that the Arcam Receivers sound as good as some separates.
If I was hunting for a Receiver if I wanted Bells & Whistles I'd look at Denon.
If I want the best sound possible I look at Arcam and NAD. I know NAD has HDMI 1.3 units.
Find a local dealer for one of them and take some of your favorite CDs. I bet you'll be surprised at the difference between them and your Pioneer.