Sony STR-DN1040 (2013) or 1050 (2014)
You might still be able to find the 2013 Sony STR-DN1040 for less than $500 and definitely the 2014 1050 model at that price. Why do I mention the older model? Because it has more HDMI ports than the newer model, although the newer model does have a more simplified remote. I don't have a problem with the 2013 remote.
Anyway, I decided to buy the 2013 unit last December and got it for a great price through Best Buy since they price matched the Internet price, so I walked out the door paying under $500 (inc. tax).
I've always been a bit of a cheapskate audiophile, Spica TC-50 speakers, PS Audio Elite Plus integrated amp, AR belt drive turntable with Linn Basik arm, various cartridges, NAD tuner and I have to say my listening pleasure with the Sony is every bit as wonderful as I'd had with all that other gear. I hooked my Panasonic UT 50 plasma TV, Panasonic Bluray player from the same year, all my Roku, WD Live, Slingbox, etc to my gigabit network (I could have gone wireless but ethernet is always smoother and more reliable playback. Sound was my Infinity Primus 150 (had great reviews in publications) and the Infinity Primus 8 subwoofer (not as good reviews but mine sounds good enough and I've never had any problems with it.
This is the first setup I've had where I can understand TV/movie dialog clearly, even at low volumes. It really opened my eyes to just how good this Sony unit is. I also have a Pioneer unit from 5 years ago and a new Yamaha I'd bought for another room in the house, neither sound nearly as clear or dynamic, and the Yamaha was voted best receiver for its price by several publications.
One other plus is the Sony's screen interface, miles better than anyone elses.
So, do yourself a favor and read reviews, and give the Sony a listen. I think you'll really like it too.