Check out an Arcam AVR200...slightly over a grand....a used unit is much less. Excellent two channel sound and full home theatre capabilities.
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I do believe there is a considerable difference between receiver and integrated amp when it comes to sound quality. My friend has a 1000 dollar Yamaha receiver that he bought about 3 years ago and I can honestly say that its sound is not nearly as good as a budget integrated amp such as a Nad C320BEE. Most receivers have the typical glare and grain that is known of solid state.
If you still insist on buying a receiver, I would recommend either a used Arcam AVR100 or AVR200. Both are well below 1000 in the used market. If you like the sound a bit on the warm side, a Nad T762 would do. I believe the T762 is TAS receiver of choice in its price range and it is one of Nad newer model. You can get a new one for about a grand.
The Rotel 1050 is a very, very nice receiver at $800 list. 100 watts per channel, wonderful sound and a lot of well-thought-out functionality. I use one as you're describing it, 98% for music and as a movie system every week or two. There's an Audiophilia review here: http://www.audiophilia.com/hardware/rotel.htm and specs here: http://www.rotel.com/products/specs/rx1050.htm
Having said that, the quality of FM programming here is so poor that if I had to do it again I'd probably buy a better quality integrated amp and add a Kloss table-top radio for listening to NPR. I got a great price on a used 1050 and am very happy with it but I use the FM so little I've even considered selling it and getting the little Rotel RX-02 integrated.
Speaking of high prices and tuners, I love seeing my friend's faces where I play from jazz off of the public FM station at night. Talk about speakers and walls disappearing. Jazz trio right in your room. Lucid, palpable and 3D. I think public radio jazz beats my DAC sometimes. Completely jaw dropping.
This from a tuner that I think costed me $7 on ebay. It's a "nothing special" Sansui tuner from the 1980s. so don't think you *HAVE* to have some exotic tuner or spend more than $30 to get decent FM. I didn't. Lots of good tuners from the 80s (a decent era of solidstate tuners) can be found very cheaply on ebay. This is mostly because FM is a complete wasteland for most people. Well it is, unless you have some good local, independent stations (college, various public radio).
I'm with [b]sfar[/b]. If had to do it again, I might get a $1k integrated (maybe the Krell) and an inexpensive tuner from ebay.
And for my next trick, I'll spin some vinyl for my visitors. heheheheheh. That usually gets the comment "I thought records were supposed to suck" or they just sit there stunned, having heard 'better than Cd playback' from technology everyone has long since written off (vinyl and FM). Priceless.
The Marants SR 19 EX is stunning for 2 channel, no idea about home theater, but for 2 channel,, you won't find anything much better except for maybe Marantz's higher end.
I used a Denon 5800 for over a year.
I was shocked.
I borrowed it for one evening and used with Soliloquy 5.3
and a 20.00 cd player, see my system and you will know why i was so shocked.