Receivers get replaced much more frequently than speakers. A couple of years ago receivers didn't even have HDMI. I spent $2000 on a top line receiver 5 years ago and sold it a few months ago for $350. The speakers (and sub) I spent about the same amount of money on ($2200) will last me another 10 years. Things change in audio every year. You're right that a receiver is the heart of your system, but a $500 receiver will plenty for you. Spend the extra on speakers/sub or a bigger display.Yeah it may be a good idea to drop down to an older version. The reason I am looking for a more high end receiver is because in my mind that is the heart of your system and that is the one place you wouldn't want to short change. Plus I also have a budget I'm trying to stick near, this is my first sound system ever. I am 2 years out of college and need a system to match my 46 inch 1080p LCD tv. Also going with the higher end system it leaves me room to expand and make speaker and component upgrades without needing a new receiver later on in life.