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Jerry I have chosen to mix live orchestral and large Prog shows on an iLive for the last 4 years, using single and dual rack configurations.
My personal opinion is it is one of the best sounding digital mix systems out there, unlike some others it does not run out of system power as you use more facilities, no sacrificing a couple of FX racks so you can have 32 Graphic EQ’s. I would certainly be one of the first to complain if the quality of sound dropped as resources were deployed, as I believe would some of my clients (IEM mixes to opera singers etc.)
Sounds like your supplier has a definite agenda to me.
Go with you instincts chap you won’t regret it, I am sure the system will continue to evolve in the future.