Proceed AVP or Meridian 561?

Hello all. I'm new here and am going to start building an HT system. Currently have no surround processor and am intrigued by the above 2 units. Hoping to pick one up used. I also have an old Bryston 3B amp and .5B preamp running a pair of NHT 2.5's. Where do I start? Use the 3B? Buy a new 5 channel amp? Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
I have an avp and love it. Be sure you understand how the Meridian works. Some of their HT gear only works with other Meridian gear, meaning you cannot mix and match components to suit your tastes or pocketbook.
You might want to keep your Bryston amp. Its good quality. 5 channels amps require you to have one huge piece in one place requiring long running speaker cables. I prefer running interconnect to rear amps with shorter (larger) speaker cables. Anyhow multiple amps gives you more flexibility. However, be sure that they are matched or at least similar for the front and center channels. You might end up finding a great 3 channel amp (like a Proceed Amp3 or HPA3) to use for the front and then use the 3B for rears. good luck
If you keep the 3B for the rear, you should go with a Bryston 5Bst for the front and center channels,
My vote is for the Proceed AVP. Madrigal should be offering the upgrade for it this year, complete with new processors and better analog volume control. If you listen to music also, go with the AVP. It is pricey, but it is the last processor you'll buy.
Absolutely the AVP. Smooth as silk in both 2ch and HT.

I do however want to know that inexpensive 5.1 solution for multi-channel SACD that mikelavigne speaks of. Do share.

AVP hands down. Enjoy.
To listen: the sony inference was to its P9000es multichannel preamp that has multiple 5.1 inputs; very handy, reviewed in stereophile, can be had for around $575