Looking at Stereophiles latest "500 Recommended Components" I was struck by how few of the recommended Integrated Amplifiers have tone controls and next to none of them have a mono mode. ..And some don't even have a balance control. WTH? I much prefer integrated amps these days. ..Fewer cables means fewer connections; fewer connections means fewer opportunities for grounding and hum/buzz issues. There may have been a time that separates made sense but I think that day has passed. My most recent separates were a Bryston 3BSST amp and BP25 pre, and its noise floor and signal bleed (hearing one input on another) was higher than every integrated I've ever had. Plus, most music is imperfectly recorded so I like having simple tone controls (bass/treble), mono switch and a balance control. The argument against these controls has been that they deteriorate the signal, but I believe this to be a myth. ..Usually, they're left at zero doing no harm, but when listening to an overly dull or bright album, or if my dishes are rattling in the cupboards, I find a slight tweaking of one or both to be enough to make the song more enjoyable. And Mono?? Absolutely indispensable when listening to old music that dates back to when Stereo mixing was misunderstood - like old Beatles music where the music comes out of one speaker and voices from the other. ..Listening to mono is way better than poorly mixed stereo. I think gear mfgs. want us to believe that eschewing these basic features keeps the signal "purer" but I think this is nonensense (ever see a mixing board used to make our some of our "audiophile approved" music? ..Literally hundreds of signal breaks). IMHO, fewer controls/ switches just means less engineering/ mfg. expense. ..Am I alone in thinking this?