there is a world of difference between the rx397 and the rx597 if you want to give yamaha another try.....harman kardon make a couple of nice models near the 500 mark as well.
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I think you'll get a better amp match if you shop for an integrated amp instead of a receiver. The Epos has a 4-ohm rating, which requires an amp with low output impedance, a generous power supply, and the ability to deliver more current than the typical receiver. If you look at the integrated amps in your price range at Audio Advisor, there are several candidates.
My favorite, however, is the Onkyo A-9555. If you shop carefully, you can pick one up for under $500. It doesn't have a subwoofer output, but it DOES have a most excellent MM phono stage. I had been using the $189 outboard Cambridge Audio 640P phono stage and tossed it aside in favor of the one inside the Onkyo. It's that good. The Onkyo delivers an honest 85 wpc into 8 ohms and 170 into 4 ohms. Runs very cool and can deliver a lot of current when called for. Has a low noise floor, is fast, and has excellent dynamics.
04-21-09: ArmstrodTrue, the RR2150 has the sub out and a phono stage. Recommendations would be easier if the RR2150 lived up to the hype. I *did* own the RR2150 and I sent it back.
The subwoofer output was so low it didn't work nearly as well as using the speaker terminals of my previous setup. But the main thing was I just couldn't get any magic out of it. It simply could not replace my wheezy old pawnshop Amber stack. The Onkyo, on the other hand, replaced the Amber stack (and a VSP TransMOS amp) handily. Even though the Outlaw and Onkyo units are both Stereophile Class C, they don't deserve to be in the same category. The Outlaw should be Class D and the Onkyo should be borderline Class B.
I'll second jaybo's recommendation for Yamaha and Harman Kardon as I think they will meet your price/features requirements. I like the RX-797 from Yamaha based on auditions and I have owned a Harman Kardon HK3375 for six years and it has given me solid service so I think the current HK's like the 3490 would be a good choice. I particularly like the amp section in Harman's receivers and mine has done a good job driving several bookshelf speakers I have owned. Both brands are 4 ohm capable so your ELS3's should present no problems in that area. Good luck!