What kind and how many speakers do you need to drive? You can get a Denon 3312 for $800 and have a decent amp section (and preouts), and then you could add external amplification only if you actually need it.
Problem is inexpensive receivers have eliminated Pre-outs. I went used and back a couple of years and just got a Denon 2809. HDMI 1.3, Audessy, DTS/Dolby HD formats and analog preouts for under $400 on eBay.