Part of the problem is my stereo receiver is on its last legs right now, so I need something to replace that. If I buy a new AV receiver today I think you are looking at buying at the minimum a $500 receiver for one with a pre out. It might be easier to go the separates route right than do this. If I had something that was functioning with a pre-out I would definitely look at picking up an amp. But you could use the AVR as the amp as well while you stash cash for upgrades to allow for pre+power amp set-up, yes?