Actually, JScott's first response (bottom of Page 1) is pretty much spot on. For the Digital Outputs, you can use either the optical out or the L/R outs. Neither one will give you Dolby Digital 5.1, and as already mentioned, if you use the optical, you won't be able to access commentary tracks. I'd say go with some good L/Rs As far as the split surrounds, you won't get that with Pro-Logic. You're right about the surrounds being only one track. It kinda sucks, but for except for the rare times you want split-surrounds, it's not that huge of a deal. You WILL get a separate center signal though. The thing about Dolby Digital vs. Pro-Logic is that there's really little difference with the two formats on LD. That's not true on DVD, where Dolby Digital blows away Pro-Logic. Dolby Digital does sound a little better on LD, but the differences are subtle. As far as the players you list, hard to say as they're all European, and I know Jack and Shit about Euro players. Avoid the Sony at all costs, they were the worst LD players. For the Pioneers, verify that the player is two-sided. You don't wanna have to get up and flip the discs on every single movie.