Originally Posted by gunbunnysoulja
Depends on your requirements.
You can get alot with even $300 in the form of a last gen receiver (Marantz 4001).
If you want internal decoders of the advanced audio codecs, you can look at the 663 or 606.
Alot comes down to personal preference. Many have bias towards particular brands for no (valid) reason. IMO, most sound incredibly similiar, and share many of the same internal parts.
I also own an Onkyo 805, but would equally recommend Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Yamaha, and HK.
Countries could start wars just fighting about the best sub $400.00 receiver out there. But, it all depends on what you need. Right now most trade magazines and pro reviewers will tell you it is the Marantz SR-4002 ($399.00 new, $349.00 refurbished). You can just type Marantz SR4002 review in any search engine, and you will find lots of excellent reviews and recommendations regarding this receiver. CNet, Playback, Good Sound, Hi-Fi, and Stereophile, are some of the trade publications that highly recommend the SR-4002. If you like music as much as your movies don't look any further than this receiver, or maybe HK.
Now, in your price range, if you want a receiver that gives "punch" to your movies, still maintaining some musicality you might want to consider Denon.
But, if you are looking to have the latest CODEC's, features, video upscaling, etc., then you want to take a look at Onkyo and Yamaha. If you are into pop music, heavy metal, rap, and the likes, and not into serious music listening, these two might be for you.