AVR: Budget $500

Not expecting audio or video nirvana...but any clear-cut winner in this competitive category? Onkyo comes to mind...but pioneer sony denon have better sound?
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I've owned them all (but not the current models) and I like Onkyo. Since 2000, I've owned B&K, Pioneer, Sony and Sony ES, Denon and now Onkyo. When I go shopping for my next unit, it's probably going to be the Onkyo 80x. I currently own the Onkyo TX-SR703 and my father-in-law owns the 705. Both have been perfectly reliable and are sonically and functionally very good units. Very easy setup too....


Onkyo 606 - $499 @ J&R:

Onkyo TX-SR606 in silver for $450 with free shipping at Amazon.

But wait! For $550 you can move up to the $800 list TX-SR706 with free
shipping, also through Amazon, which in this case they source from J&R.

Since these deals include free shipping, the TX-SR706 may also fit your budget. Not bad for the value-leading 100 wpc 7.1 receiver with full HDMI 1.3a support, Audissey room compensation, and 1080p upconversion with Faroudja DcDi.