The last set up I "had" (when living with parents lol) was an upper-level, early 2000s Denon 7.1 receiver and a Definitive Technology 5.1 setup that I forget the model #/series of, but I remember it was a $2,400 package from Magnolia at the time, if that helps. I don't have the budget to recreate something that good, but I'm hoping to get something at least almost as good.
The majority of what this will be used for is just plain stereo music listening. I will definitely be doing a fair share of movie watching, though, so stuff like DTS-HD/Dolby processing and HDMI switching is still a must, but don't care about 3D capability (if it's unavoidable then whatever). I'm just a single guy living in a 1-bedroom apartment, so I don't need the most powerful gear and stuff like multi-room control obviously becomes superlative at that point.
*Also, I'm looking for advice on speakers as well, but if that's too off-topic just let me know and I'll make a new thread in the speakers section, but*:
Since I'm on a budget but like high quality when I can do it, I actually only want to get stereo speakers and the receiver first, and then add the center and surrounds (and maybe a sub) later. Though of course I'd want the fronts I buy first to be something easily voice-matched when I do decide to complete the whole surround package later down the line. Oh, and I prefer towers/floorstanding speakers for the mains; mostly for sound/personal aesthetic reasoning, but I also just don't want to hassle with or spend the money on speaker stands in the front.
So, my budget for just the receiver and two fronts I'd like to keep at about $800 (or I guess $400 for the receiver alone). If I can get some smoking deal on something actually much better, I'd maybe be willing to break the $1,000 mark (or $500, again, for receiver only), but I'd just as soon go lower as well if like $650 gets me something almost as good as what $800 would get me. But remember, that's just to start, and I'll have to save again to finish the rest of the whole surround sound package later.
Any help you can provide is much appreciated. If you want to help me but need more info, definitely ask away. Thanks.