I think outboard "anything" but especially with amps will give one benefits already discussed in power output BUT, in my view,these benefits kick-in especially over the long haul. I went to outboard amps and later video processing along with an AVR used as a pre-pro back a couple of years ago and the benefits, to me, are just now forthcoming. With the mainstream companies bringing out new models at various price levels at a record pace every year, one can go a little crazy about this IF one wants to keep "up-to-date" with the current features.
Since the mainstream companies offer AVRs at different price levels, whether it is the mid/lower level or top line AVR, they generally share the same audio processing chips. The difference in price in the various models usually comes in amplifier power, more exotic video processing capabilities, some connectivity issues and miscellaneous items that often are superfluous to many buyers.
Having outboard amps(which never suffer from obsolescence)allows me to purchase the lower level AVR(as long as it has pre-outs)at usually considerable less money but still essentially getting similar results in audio quality.
It should be noted, I use my system almost exclusively for audio/video HT purposes so other forms of connectivity are of no value to me. Others may want the features only available in the higher end units and are willing to pay that considerable extra for them.
Edited by casey01 (10/28/10 01:32 PM)