One should start with some assumptions, or a minimum list of criteria for selection. I made a move to a new(er) AV receiver recently, thus have my own list:
1. HDMI switching. Obviously, the old receiver cannot switch HDMI, hence the need for new AVR.
2. How many is enough? Cable/Sat set top box, Blu-ray, DVD, game, I say a minimum of 4 HDMI sources.
3. What about future proof your AVR, to a minimum? I'll say a network connection for internet radio, but more importantly: ease of firmware updates. This is because AVR are just another form of computer, that requires microprocessor. And computer (especially software) require updates as the design is almost always not mature; the product is shipped with bugs (or features
) built-in. This can be marketing pressure that they just have to ship an unfinished design product, intented or unintended.
4. Nice to have: USB input for your iPod or aux audio devices.
5. Also nicer to have: USB and HDMI input on the front panel.
The list can go on, but in the lower order of priority.
Based on this list, I picked the Denon AVR-1613, and later exchanged for the 1713 because of the sale, price drops so that a $30 difference is irresistible (extra zone, 1 more HDMI input, a bit more power to me are bonuses).
6. The next price break would be significant for me, or you if you share the same priority: pre-outs for at least 2 front channels L&R.
To this end, only the 3312ci or 3313ci fits the bills, talk about price jump...
I only have time to focus on Denon, also biased, but other brand AVR can be selected based on the above criteria.
Pricewise, if your timing is right, when BB or FS put "yours" on sale, it is a bonus. Note that they will beat other online sellers -I am not working for them, the added benefit is they are authorized dealer, warranty is valid.
I try to recover from this HT bug for a while now