While I would agree that you don't "need" to spend $1,200, and certainly agree with the transient nature of state of the art when it comes to receivers, I would respectfully suggest that the "sweet spot" for receivers these days seems right around the price point you cited. At that range, you tend to start to pick up some useful features (more inputs, HDMI Through, Internet radio, automated set up/equalization programs, some useful sound processing, better video processing, better amps, various certifications (if that matters to you), etc).
For example, the Pioneer Elite SC-05 would be an excellent choice that fits right in your budget, or better yet, the SC-07 if you could swing the extra cash.
I'm partial to the Yamaha 3900 or what I ended up with (Z7), but they are more pricey.
You can still have a stellar home theater experience spending less and you may not have need for all the bells and whistles, but they are nice to have if you are investing in a great speakers and subs.
One thing--please try to audition the receivers (preferably through Mythos speakers if you can) before you buy--each has it's own sonic character and ergonomics that may sway your decision. In addition, if you find you can't tell between receivers at your price point compared with those that are cheaper, then by all means, save some cash for your next upgrade! :-)