As I continue to step further into the audiophile pond, I'm starting to ask myself, "Do I need two dedicated systems: one for home theater, and one for 2-channel music, OR, is there one system / setup that can work well for both? And if there is a "happy medium" system, what should I be focusing on, gear-wise? Mono blocks for the L/C/R? A high-end AVR? Both? Assume that I don't have the space or budget for TWO dedicated systems (yet).
If you really want to get the best of the two worlds, my suggestion would be to go with a pre/pro as opposed to a receiver. You will get more refined sound from surround decoding. Speaking of Marantz, they just released their new 8K-ready model for a reasonable $2,400. You couple that with a two-channel preamp that has a theater pass-thru, you will enjoy your two channel content as good as your pre-amp/amp/speaker combo will allow plus passing thru the surround content when you want to thru your external amps - all this in one system.