I am a fan of Denon components. I have no personal knowledge of the S-301. Have you heard it? I wouldn't consider buying any pig in a poke. When introduced in 2005 it was initially a c/net Editor's Choice.
Additionally, I do have very ordinary resources but a substantial investment in high quality stuff that is certainly NOT HDMI 1.3 compliant. Up to now, even previous HDMI versions have only been superior connected with HDMI vs. others about 50% of the time. Manufacturer implementation has been, frankly, spotty. This factor is something I would always wait for some consensus of professional review to judge. I wouldn't expect the now becoming available 1.3 components to solve all the prior possible shortfalls.
But, if proceeding with needing new components now, I would be inclined to wait-see or some good 1.3 results. The possible future features are just that; potential, without any current data. If they do develop, & some big motion pictures certainly will be further developed to these new standards, it will be welcome. But it will take a few years for widespread results.
I do value my old fashioned two channel stereo for my personal music, whereas the A/V 5.1 in the living room is just for it's own sake. I believe very good things can & do come in stereo, 2.1 & 3.1 systems. Not all even want things like 7.1. HT is about impact for special effects, not musicality & accuracy.
No, refurbs wouldn't have addressed HDMI features. Denon took a back seat to news coverage of the nice Onkyo entires into the 1.3 scene, like their 605 & 805 receivers. Denon has recently had just a couple of news releases & divulging of a few of their new products. They should hit their stride with some new introductions in August (& that's not far away.)
My longstanding inclinations urge people to create their own setups from individually selected pieces. At least you were not one attracted to Boses wife friendly products. One might need to have a tangle of wires (& some knowledge to deal with that.) I wouldn't act without auditioning some alternatives. Heck the initial msrp of the S-301 was $1600.
Have you sought out an NHT dealer to hear their Stereophile magazine feature cover photo mini-monitor? The NHT Three came out at $800 msrp. Street price is $600. My local dealer recently was offering them at $525. Yes, I heard them (pretty nice for a small package at the price,) but I'm not pushing them. Just making mention of one of many possible alternatives.
At this general price area I recommend seeking some of these to give a serious listen to: Paradigm Atom, PSB Alpha B or the bigger brother PSB Image T55, Energy RC-50, Epos ELS 3, Monitor Audio Bronze B or Klipsch RF-52. These are just a logical starting point of reasonable priced speakers well reveived for performance & value by several pro reviewers.
So, no speaker is perfect & brands have their own sound characteristic. Informed selection for this most personal part of a setup is of high importance so, in any event, I believe you have some footwork to do. Some regulars here will provide more specific discourse with you. Happy hunting.
The S-301 became a top contender and I wanted to see it in person but no one seems to be carrying it in stores. Then I look online to find that no one is selling new only refurbished and it gets me wondering what is going on. Is Denon coming out with an upgraded version? Will all the factory refurbished S-301 have the HDMI problems fixed?
The S-301 just looked like the perfect a/v system for my space restricted condo and I don't want to start my search all over again.
Any info would be much appreciated.
Post Script: I am not interested in the possibility of "upgrading" to a 5.1 or 7.1 system in the future. Just thought I would put that out there before it got suggested.