As someone considered a tech authority, I am often asked by family and friends what kind of gear to buy. Short of listing my phone number here and having you call me for shopping advice, here's the gear I've actually shelled out money for, and some buying advice.
I have to replace this no-longer-current AV receiver – it's not powerful enough to power my speakers (see next slide), it lacks the iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility found on many current models and doesn't have enough HDMI input jacks. Buying Advice: Consider Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha and Pioneer AVRs, all of which I've owned at one time or another, and make sure your choice includes enough HDMI 1.4a inputs (don't worry about what it means, just make sure). And match your prospective receiver's power to the minimum power requirement of your speakers (and vice versa).