I remember that shootout from a few years back and you're right it shows that the price is not necessarily indicative of performance.
I've had the Panaonic XR55 class D receiver since it came out and it has served me well for many years. It's now in a bedroom 5.1. The class D AVRs were offered by Panasonic and JVC for only a few years but never seemed to catch on perhaps because they were smaller and lighter than conventional receivers.
There are more and different class D's available today, and a more up to date comparison would be helpful. It is interesting though, to see that so many Class T (Tripath) amps are still available today, years after Tripath ceased production.