As already mentioned, it’s all about how much pain you can endure when you write the check. If you really are into the long haul and don’t plan on upgrading every couple years or so, then I would be looking at separates. With separates, you can keep the amps and tuner for twenty years. As technology changes and you just have to have the latest and greatest new sound processor, all you will need to upgrade will be the pre-amp/processor. This will definitely cost more than buying a receiver, of any make for that matter, but you will have a set up that will put a smile on your face every time you turn it on. And in five years or so, buy a new processor and put the one you’re replacing on eBay or audiogon. You’d be surprised at how well high end gear holds it value. I certainly was when I was considering used gear…….
Rotel is definitely more expensive than the main stream brands, but they are not overly priced when you start looking at other manufactures of the same build quality, power capabilities and similar warrantees. (Rotel has a five year warrantee by the way). You won’t see that with Dennon, Yamaha, HK, Pioneer, etc…
NAD and the entry level Parasound line are both neck and neck with Rotel. All three are considered entry level HI-FI. The next step up will be double in cost. Take a look at the Parasound Halo line, Krell, McIntosh, Bryson, Sunfire, ……..the list goes on and on and on. After you start looking at these manufactures and their prices, you will very quickly see that Rotel is anything other than one heck of a bargain.