if you are looking at budget receivers....onkyo is often one of the first brands mentioned.
i've heard to avoid sony under $500, above that and they are okay.
i've heard good things about denon.
personally i can say i love my pioneer vsx-30. its perfect.
seconded.. you need to know your budget and features you want. you need to know what inputs/outputs you require, what type of speaker connections you need (i like binding posts/bannana clips), etcetera.