Possumgirl makes excellent points (and good sense) as always.
Something else to consider is overall sound quality. My preference leans to better sound quality over multi-channel, surround, or digital effects. You have a better chance at good sound quality from all of the units mentioned in PG's assessment. You can add most units from Vizio into that mix also as their sound quality has been consistent for the last three or four years.
When you invest in a receiver and two speakers, a great deal of your money may be going to features in the receiver such as AM/FM tuner, multiple inputs, HDMI switching, etc. This leaves most entry level speakes as usually a fiberboard box with a woofer and tweeter of dubious quality and a crossover of no quality. This does not necessarily mean the sound will not be good, but it certainly leaves the question open. If your speakers sound bad, no amount of money thrown into a better receiver will overcome this. Most soundbars have full range drivers eliminating the need for a crossover. Most have a woofer (usually called a sub-woofer) that adequately plays a good portion of the bass spectrum. Neither solution is perfect, but I have found better sound via five soundbars I have owned over the years than I have heard from almost any of my friends with inexpensive multi-channel systems (usually HTIB).
I am still old fashioned and listen to two-channel audio in a listening room with a near reference quality system. None of my soundbars including the two I still have in the house equal the reference system, but all have been extremely good for TV and movies.