Onkyo/Denon are good brands to start with. What is your budget for this expense?
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I've also had Meridian separates. The Denon AVR1708 should fit your needs. I use one of these as well . It has two HDMI inputs and one HDMI monitor output. The Audyssey software works very well! I was surprised at how good this unit sounds. It has more features than I would ever use, being the little brother of Denon's current AVRs.
More recommendations here for Denon. Probably get the AVR688 for that on the net. Plenty of power and features, yes. Sound will mate with most any speakers. My experience is Onkyo's are a little Thin sounding at lower price points (everyone's been buying into the Onkyo's reviews). Just went to hear yet another Onkyo set up at a local store - and, yep, sounded thin and bright in no matter what speakers I selected. Same impression I got from hearing an Onkyo down at HSU Research's setup, if bland sounding.
The Denon's never fail to sound full bodied, and weighty, with plenty of detail.
I've owned various Sony ES, Pioneer, Denon, B&K and Onkyo HT receivers over the last several years. I currently own the Onkyo TX-SR703 (2 versions back predecessor to the current TX-SR705) and think it is fantastic. My father-in-law just bought the 705 based on my experience and he loves it too.
I would highly recommend checking out the audio forum over at AVSforum.com for information regarding HT receivers. There's a lot of great new mid-priced receivers on the market.