Ok My parents are staying with me as room mates for the next couple of years. Mother is hard of hearing and has tried those wireless headphones...which was a dismal unit. Uncomfortable and the batteries after 24 hours of charging last a pathetic 4 hours.
Anyway I figured she could have my Sony MDR 750s a high endish very comfy set of headphones. But they need an amp. So I figure since the 2 channel rig is in my bedroom and My Wharfedales (The best maybe that Wharfedale ever made) may as well be put to some use and start of a home theater system. Since I have no tuner I figure I get a tuner and headphone jack and hey home theater.
Here's the thing...the SR4300 is the last one left a demo unit with full warranty and is selling for $320.00 Cdn or around $250.00US gve or take a few bucks. I like it because of the preouts.
The 5300 is $398 Cdn but no remote which means I'd have to buy one(~90.00). The 7300 is tempting at $800.00Cdn but too much right now.
Any atrocious anomolies with the 4300...how does it stack up as a surround sound device...don't care too too much about its musical ability.
A lot of the other comments have always spelled out the SR4300 as a viable entry level receiver. Some Crystal chips had some issues decoding certain DVD soundtracks, but I don't think the model in question is installed in the SR4300. It's probably the lowest priced receiver out there with full 6.1 channel preouts, so that's a plus. On paper, it's got everything you really need -- DD 5.1, DTS, DTS ES, DD EX, DPLII, and Circle Surround. The bigger variables are how many speakers you intend to use, and whether or not the parents can decipher all the features on that remote. If you plan to go with two-speakers, you might want to look into how well the virtual surround mode works, because that really varies a lot.
If you're looking for something that can do surround effects with headphones, you might need to look closer. Not sure if Circle Surround has a headphone mode, or how effective it is. Among the ones I've tried, Sony and Yamaha probably have the best surround headphone implementations, and Dolby's headphone mode is very good, although I haven't seen it on any receivers yet.
$250 US? Nice deal. I say defiently go for it. The new x400 series of the Marantz receivers have a surround mode for headphones, but they're about $400 US. If thats not important the 4300 should be just what you're looking for.