Right now I am faking surround sound with a good Marantz stereo receiver and 4 Klipsch Towers. Ironically it's the PS4 features (or lack thereof) that prompted me to finally get around to upgrading my receiver. The PS4 doesn't do analog lol which annoyed me then I realized "it's time". Although I won't be getting PS4 for a while since they are idiotically not including a ton of important features, no reason not to upgrade my receiver and I can use the PS4 preorder money to do it with (and more).
On slickdeals a few years back I found a newegg deal for a good sub and 4 speakers (to use as satellites) with center. So right out of the gate I'm equipped for a 7.1 receiver. I suppose if I could educate myself as to the benefit of a 2nd subwoofer in a small room I could go for a 7.2 receiver also or future proof myself to do so.
I am not a fan of pass through anything so I'm not sure the 3D pass through is important or not since I don't know if any receivers do it "well". If they do then sure it's a good feature for me because I do have a Samsung 61" 3D LED DLP TV (the first and last they made) and it looks exceptional calibrated and 3D is great on it. My experience with home theater is always plug the HDMI into the TV directly and not to pass through so *shrug*
Other features like wifi or ethernet options to have things like Slacker, Pandora etc. wouldn't hurt.
My priorities are the best sounding receiver that has the necessary power to handle 4 full size Klipsch tower speakers, sub, center and 4 "satellites", and preferably zero loss with pass through to make my life easy (although I doubt anything is out there that doesn't suck some quality of picture doing pass through). Heck even if you guys know of a $1,500 or more receiver or more that is a "must" buy I'll entertain the idea, but there is a limit to how much I want to drop on this thing.