Denon, Arcam and Rotel come to mind.
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There is a used Marantz SR-19 THX receiver for sell asking $650. It is an excellent receiver and built better than the newer ones in my opinion. Excellent sonics. I think it retailed for about $2000. Hard to beat. It has a pathway for pure 2 channel eliminating all processing for purist sound.
Too me, used is the way to go on receivers. You can get SOOOO much more for your money!
I like the Denon AVR-2807 and the Yamaha RX-V1700 (I happen to own a Yamaha RX-V1600 and I love the shit out of it) and maybe you should also look at the Marantz SR5001. Not sure about the Onkyo however.
I would hunt down a "close-out" or used Rotel as well. Arcam is excellent, but unless you are buying a used one, Arcam is a little too rich for my blood.