As far as a receiver, I'm not sure what's our there for stereo AVR's so I can't say if there a good way to go, cheaper, etc. Most of these home theater receivers that will fall in your budget after you spend for speakers/sub(s) will be pretty close to the same as far as power and features (especially for what you need it for).
Say you spend $400-500 on speakers & $500-700 on a sub or multiple subs, that leaves you in a range of about $900 to $1,200. So you've got either $600 left for cables/AVR if you end up on the that cheaper side or about $300ish if you end up on spending around $1,200 on speakers/sub. Either way, you can easily pick up an AVR and cables that will get the job done for those ranges.
Look into something like the Denon 1612/1712. If you'd like something like AirPlay then look into the 1713. Look at Accessories4Less for these Denons. You could also check out some of the comparable $200-300 AVR's from Yamaha or Pioneer. Like I said, power is going to be basically the same and basically inaudible if there's a difference. Little things like AirPlay on certain models might help you (especially since you want to play stuff from your phone). I would pick up one with it, but you'll need a WIFI connection for it.
Speaker wire, cables, etc can be purchased from Monoprice, Bluejeanscable, etc. I use Monoprice.
Panny 65st60 / Denon X1000 / EMP e55ti / EMP e56ci / EMP e5bi / (2) e1010i