My receiver pumps out a more-than-healthy 110 watts over the 5 surround channels. This is fine given my 150 watt each rear surrounds and 150 watt center channel. However, the tower front surround/stereo speakers can handle 350 watts each. In stereo mode, this receiver does pretty well in that it then kicks in 275 watts each to these speakers, but that is still 75 watts shy of capacity. 😦
I think I may have found a new love in the recently introduced Sony STR-9000ES. It is 200 watts x 7 channels. 7 channel surround is something I’ve REALLY wanted to upgrade to since getting several DVD-Audio discs and listening to them on my PC’s 7 channel surround. This unit also has DVI-HD and i.Link for digital multi-channel input sources like DVD-Audio and SA-CD.
Also very impressive is the new Pioneer ELite VSX-59TXi. At 160 watts x 7 channels, it also meets the need. This unit is also THX-Ultra2 certified! While it has i.Link, it does not have DVI-HD or HDMI. But still, a very nice unit!
Now – when can I twist this dream into a reality? That is a tough one – REALLY tough. $2,500+ tough!!