There are so many things that could go wrong with a receiver, which is why I almost always recommend to get something with preouts/preins if you are not looking at a bargain basement receiver. If an amp goes - get an external amp, use the preouts. If a video input goes - get a new, entry level receiver and utilize the amps in both. Aside from buying from an authorized reseller, that's your best insurance spec-wise. Getting receivers fixed/serviced seems to be hit or miss even if you do have a warranty (shipping, time, etc).
My take is that all the brands have about an equal defect rate. Onkyo's are the volume leader and thus you hear the most people complaining. There are plenty of stories about various Denon and Marantz issues as well (they are the same parent company). I'd just pick your favorite based on inputs, amp, look, warranty. Accessories4Less and Electronics Expo (as mentioned above) are two of the best. Crutchfield Outlet changes from day to day, but there are deals to be found there as well.