I'm looking for a receiver to grow into over the next ~5-7 years (meaning I wouldn't want to replace it until at least that long). I will need speakers at some point, but I'm not in a rush to get everything up front.
My primary need is to connect to my home network for playing movies and music off of a NAS unit via a gigabit LAN connection. I do have an apple tv, so airplay is not a requirement.
I'm currently in an 18x18 room that is open to the rest of the house on the left side (open floor plan), but I plan on moving to a new larger house in the next ~2-3 years. Running surround speakers is not an easy task in this space, so while I'd want a 7.1 system for future flexibility, I'm probably not going to use more than a 3.1 (or a soundbar + sub?) right now.
Speakers (L/C/R or a soundbar, and a Subwoofer) - Open to a range of prices because...
for the speakers, I'm okay buying something cheaper that I would upgrade when I move, since this room is small and I have no idea how big the next room will be. So, if there's something that I should be able to keep when I upgrade rooms, I'll spend the $$ now, if not, I'd rather keep it on the inexpensive side.
In general, I prefer to buy things that are mid range or slightly higher so they last long enough to make the $$ worthwhile (and getting the best bang for the buck in that range