The Denon AVR3313 would be a solid choice, has pre-outs for future upgrades and Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction.
Ascend is a good brand, and they are very popular. You can audition the speakers in your home with no risk.
CMT-340 SE L/R, CMT-340 SE C, CBM-170 SE SL/SR
This comes to $1100 shipped, and it leaves you plenty of room to pick up a good sub. You could look at the SVS PB12-NSD, Outlaw LFM1-EX, HSU VTF-3 MK4, and if you can swing it, the Rythmik FV15.
Denon AVR-1713 | EMP E55Ti | EMP E56Ci | EMP E5Bi | BIC F-12