Well it's late and I should be in bed, but I will bang off some of this now. Please ignore my bad grammar. It sucks and I know it and I don't care! :-)
First things first. All of these are very nice receivers. Some do things better then others but I don't think you can go wrong with any of them. I'm also not real sure on how fair this is anyway. Some of these receivers are worth double and then some compared to what others are worth. The Pioneer can be had for $350.00 all over the net and the HK for example is double that at most places. The spread gets wider if you take into consideration MSRP................. But life is not fair so we press on!
If there is one thing that this has proved to me yet again, it's that not all receivers sound the same! Some think they do but I don't think so......at all. Anyone who can say that a HK and a Yamaha sound the same have never had the chance to listen to them one after another! DISCLAIMER.....remember I said this is my view and my view only.....so back off! :-)
Let's start with the sleeper in the group. The Pioneer. I can honestly say I was not expecting much from this thing. Not sure why, I just wasn't. Maybe it's because I have owned several DVD players made by Pioneer and I didn't like one of them. I also had an older Elite receiver several years ago and I hated it. No power, no bass, no nothing......but I digress. The Pioneer is what I would call a straight ahead receiver that does HT well and music even better. The one thing I really liked about the Pioneer was its ability to do an almost true bi-amp on the front channels! Thanks to DJ Stunna for clueing me in on this! The method that Pioneer employs is by far and away better then what is going around for the Denon 3805 and some others. I watched a few movies using the Pioneer and it did everything well (crossover flexibility is lacking in the Pioneer) but I always found myself spending more time with it listening to music. It does really well with audio! The Pioneer also seems to have decent power although I must admit I did get it to clip twice when I was getting really silly with the volume. Under normal circumstances I would never listen to anything this loud but I was playing and being stupid! As I did with all of these receivers, I played with the respective auto set-up or room calibration etc etc...........I don't like Pioneers. To be fair however, I hate them all. My Denon 3805 doesn't get it right either and the Pioneer was no different. Anybody who has there respective system set with this feature may want to check it again with a SPL and see if your missing out on anything.
End of the story is this. The Pioneer would not be my own choice for HT out of the bunch listed here nor would I give up my Denon 3805 for it, but don't pass by it to fast. I should also mention that if I was ranking these receivers, the Pioneer although not my top pick, would also not be at the bottom of the heap either. For the money this thing is a steal of a deal. However when it comes to just kicking back and cranking some tunes, the Pioneer is at the top of the heap as far as I'm concerned. It could use a little more power but other then that, not bad at all!