Originally Posted By: Mojo

I think a lot of it has to do with the room and distance from the speakers. If the room is highly damped and you are sitting far back from your speakers (say, more than eight feet), you will need more than a half watt.

There is something to be said about the power requirements of transient requirements though.
Yes a few watts or less on average are used, but for those short burst of much larger energy requirements, the capabilities of a standalone amp can go much further than most receivers.
Power capacity, big reserves.

I once tested out a Coda amp. I was playing music, turned off the amp, left the rest of the system on playing music and the speakers took about 2-3 seconds to drain the remaining power from the amp reserves at the original volume.
I was quite impressed.
"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."