I switched to the 976 after my old faithful 990 finally passed away one morning with a big snap.
That was a sad day for sure.
I think the 976 sounds somewhat better IMHO and the HDMI connectivity of todays processors is really nice for sure.
If the 976 had not been available I am not sure what I would have done.
Probably a Marantz AV7706 because they are pretty solid units and not buggy like the Emotiva processors.
Gonk made an appearance quite a while back but haven't seen him here since.
Now is the time to start doing your research on a replacement unit just in case.
Epson 3500 3D projector
115" Carl's Place Flexiwhite DIY screen
Outlaw 976 Pre/Pro
Outlaw 7500 for center & surround duty
2- Emotiva XPA-1Ls for L/R
1- Emotiva Mini X-A100 for deck
2- Outlaw LFM-1 EX subs
Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray/DVD/SACD player
Outlaw LCR (Snell Labs) for center channel duty
Tekton Enzo XL L/R
4- Emotiva ERD-1s surround speakers
Emotiva UOM-6.2 for the deck
Technics SL-1100AC w/ Ortofon 2M Blue cart
Monster HTS3600MKII power center