Wow, you are a buzzkill today, Murph.
I don't HAVE to have the DAC built-in to the switcher, I just need to perform both of those functions if I want zone2 audio from the Apple TV. Whether I buy a new receiver or not; the ATV doesn't have analog audio out, and I'm (still) not aware of any receivers that will let you decode two DAC streams in different zones simultaneously.
I'm with you on the IR control; don't know how we'd live without the MX-700.
I'm not buying a new receiver.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem