I've decided early on to get the Arcam 350 for it's sonic quality first and HT integration second. After reading and getting more confused, I'm on the fence on having an HT component with more ports for the upcoming HDMI 1.3, TrueHD, switching, and such. Hopefully they get this all figured out within a year or two.
If I do get the Arcam 350, I don't think it can accommodate on the new format, so what would I be missing out and how would it compare? Then just maybe,I would later purchase a low-cost receiver just for HT with all the bells and whistles.
Is there any other brand that matches the Arcam for sonic qualities that is priced lower? NAD? Rotel?