What do you think about AVR as preamp or preamp? The Anthem MX300 has great reviews, can be used as a preamp, and has the well liked ARC SW. Not bad for $999.
Not a fan of using an AVR as a processor, although it does work. Definitely not a fan of Anthem. They get their fanboys, kinda like Pioneer and Oppo The MArantz is defintely the best bang for te buck.