Denon AVR-5308CI A/V Receiver User Interface
While the 5308 is immense, its input and output flexibility pretty much uses up all the real estate on the back. That said, the rear panel is not so crowded that making connections was painful. In particular, the speaker terminals are robust and easy to get to.
The setup procedure was relatively pain-free as well, although I did not find every aspect to be intuitive, which meant I had to crack the owner's manual. This so diminished my manly sense of self-worth that I briefly considered holding a grudge. I would have, too, if the Denon's performance wasn't so dagnabbed stunning.
About remotes: With the 5308, you get two—a "main" remote with a display screen that provides access to the sub-menus (essential for setup) and a "sub" remote with a less-cluttered layout that offers just the greatest hits of system control. Once I got the 5308 properly sorted, I used the sub remote almost exclusively, mostly because the complexity of the main remote had me mashing the wrong button every time I picked it up.
The OSD (onscreen display) system is a series of GUI (graphical user interface) screens and submenus. On the whole, it is pretty clear and intuitive, but I hit a few wrinkles that logic (or my version of it, at least) simply couldn't conquer—such as assigning the audio output of an HDMI-connected DVD player (about which more shortly). The vast number of decisions involved in setting up a beast as complex as the 5308 means that not all of them will be obvious.