Late to this thread...skimmed the 2011 stuff and read the latest. You can waste a whole lot of time and money in this hobby trying to SAVE money. Lot of collective wisdom here on this forum (guys here REALLY know this stuff!) and most everyone has "been there; done that" re your system issues. But most of us were lead to the water and did not drink and had to learn these lessons in our own ways...so most likely you will to. We all believe (mostly through experience) that vintage/refurbed Carver/Sunfire amps will give you hands down the most bang for your buck (else we would not be here...). I concur with the early advice about the 300x2: the Sunfire's do a better job with 4 ohm loads than do the Carver amps (in general...). The Sunfire's are very beefy serious iron. You'll know it when/if you see/lift/hear them vs. the very good Carver amps.... And like I said, you can waste a ton of money and time trying to save a few bucks in this hobby, but you'll never be sorry that you invested in the best...
Happy hunting! - Ed
Living room: AudioQuest Black Mamba 8M IC's from family room preamp to Barcus-Berry 2002R Sonic Maximizer to GlowPower Zyxt IC's to Sunfire 300x2 to Nordost 6M bi-source wires to AOS 28" MDF spherical speakers using six 8" woofers and eight 1" dome tweeters symm. arranged around the surface.
SS system: CX-995V DVD to AV-705x 5 channel amp (center/rears) & M1.0t mk-II opt2(fronts).
Garage: TLM-3600 CDP to MXR150 Receiver (pre) to TFM-42 to EPI 400 speakers.