Sooo... My nice and cheap LG HTIB system is due for replacement, coinciding with my jump from a 720 to 1080p projector (Optoma HD20), and some new speakers (the Pioneer ones designed by Andrew something...).
Must have upconversion of all sources to HDMI. Imperative for wii functionality with the PJ.
Must have pandora and network capability. Ability to access networked drives would be fantastic.
AirPlay would be great.
Would love one of the fancy auto setup thingies with the mic (audyssey, yamaha's setup, etc.).
A good GUI.
Ability to hook up a non-powered subwoofer.
Currently looking at several different models from the major players... Budget is $400, but less (while retaining good sound and the features I want) is even better. So far I'm vetting:
I have no experience with the other things you referenced, but I did just recently buy an Onkyo 609, so I'll tell you some stuff about my time with that.
Has no AirPlay, I'm not an apple user so that doesn't really matter to me. he network functionality works perfectly, but is kinda odd. This could just be me or the way I have things set up. I have a USB drive hooked into my Router (cisco/linksys EA3500) which turns it into a NAS drive, and I can access direct from the receiver, but it is kinda slow/lame. This is probably due to how unorganized my music is, some things being labeled by artist, some by genre, generally just poorly organized. On the plus side, with Windows Media Player, anything I play there can be "sent to receiver". I click that setting, receiver asks if I want to accept, I say yes, and whatever I can play in WMP is sent to the TV and audio system.
One nice thing about the Onkyo is that is has built in Bi-Amp capability, I didn't see that listed as an option on the others. If whatever speakers you upgrade to are capable, you can bi-amp the fronts for a bit more musical power. This uses the back channels of the amp, so when Bi-Amp is active, you now only have a 5.1 capability instead of 7.1, but whatever. I feel the double power to the fronts more than makes up for the slightly less full rear sound stage.
Had it for a couple months, have no complaints. You must give it a bunch of room, as it seems to run hot, but I like my music loud so that may have a bunch to do with it.