Personally I think Onkyo's are great. That is, when they work. To me they have longevity problems and, I've become gun shy over them. My 707 lasted two years and, is now, a paperweight. While it worked it was great. The 616 lasted a week. Luckily I could return it. So, for me, I would cross that off the List. But that's me. I use the Receiver for entertainment purposes and I hate problems. Defeats the purpose.
HK I know nothing about. Never really caught my attention.
Denon I like. Had a 1913 and loved that. If its too expensive I like the 1713.
Pioneer, except for the Elite, which are expensive in Canada, I've never really liked.
I love the Yamaha's for longevity and sound. Plus I've never had a HDMI handshake problem or anything ever go wrong.
Bang for the Buck I would personally buy the Yamaha 373 or 375 (which is discrete, this year). My second choice would be Denon, mainly for the Audssey calibration.
Remember that in the budget category, if equally calibrated, nearly all the Receivers are similar. So choose one with the best options and go for it. Most of these opinions are subjective. Yours will probably differ. Get a shop that allows returns. Choose two or three and try them. That's what I do.