||home receiver crap out on me just past the warranty period, and also had a head unit do the same. Sure, they're two different silos of the business, but these couple of bad experiences were enough to make me give someone else a shot. Granted, the 3500 you have doesn't fall into the bargain bin category, but still, if you've had a good experience with it, thanks for sharing.
...ditto on the DIN pocket. Having a home for the phone is reason enough. The flip-up style certainly has some appeal.
Audio is way down on the priority list for my car, but when I get there, I'm looking to upgrade all around, as I still have the OEM speaker setup - their better days are long gone. I do have a 12" Kenwood sub that I'll need to find a home for when the time comes - that'll be fun.