As in Fitchburg, WI?
I'm wondering if it might also be useful for you to be specific about the equipment you currently have and want to retain. Just to get our options on the table ;).
That said, I'd still wager you may have options using the current receiver lacking HDMI. For example, does it have multi-channel analog inputs? If so, you could pick up a blu ray player that decodes onboard and passes the DolbyHD signal via PCM/multi-channel analog to the receiver/speakers. I wouldn't really bother as much with using an HDTV as a control center to pass along audio since receivers do it so well, even the lower priced models. The HDTVs that actually have audio-ouput usually can only do it via digital optical and that also leaves out blu ray codecs. I see receivers serving as controllers being better and more flexible than any HDTV.
My current master system is in need of an update. The receiver I have doesn't support HDMI. So I started to look at updating the receiver. Then I came to realize that there are two options as to master control. That of control through the TV - with an audio out to the receiver, or the conrol through the receiver.
I am looking for your thoughts on the direction of industry, and your setups.
My initial thoughts were to use the receiver as the master, with the TV as the monitor. In part because the multiple connection wires could be contained/hidden near the receiver. If the TV is the master control then everything needs to be connected to it. Maybe making a larger connection cable bundle.
It seems that the TV's are expanding their options as to connectivitiy. Where are the large screen monitors (55in or larger)?
If I do not not need the switching options for the receiver it becomes just an amplifier (maybe with a tuner and ipod player). I can reduce the cost's with elimination of video switching features in the receiver.