I had a Sony 5.1 amp but was struggling with balancing the sound then someone recommended that I try the RX-V667. This is a 7.2 amp (7 speaker and 2 subwoofer connections) which is more than I needed but that wasn't a problem.
Setting up was easy. Just plug in the microphone and start the auto calibration. It detects how many speakers you have and automatically down mixes the unused channels into the active ones. After this was done I hardly made any changes to the settings manually as the sound was very well balanced. If you use a HDMI 1.4 cable you can dispense with any additional optical cables for audio as the signal is carried by the HDMI cable. The only thing you have to do is enable HDMI on standby otherwise you lose the picture and sound from your source if you tune the amp off.
The sound is crystal clear, very easy to listen to and it never gets tiring or annoying. The soundstage is wide open and detailed and the positioning is precise. It is very controlled without being lack lustre. Some amps just throw the sound at you from all the speakers but the RX-V667 pinpoints the audio and immerses you in the film, leaving you wanting more.
Considering it is classed as a mid range amplifier it doesn't fall short on options. As well as the basics there are also adjustments for delay times, speaker impedance, lip sync, even room size and that's only the start.