Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with most of the high end receivers you hear about on these boards. When I was looking I had it narrowed down to the Pioneer Elite 54tx, Yamaha 1400, and Denon 2805. I ended up going with the Denon 2805 after talking to many members on this board, as well as Brent and Joe at Axiom.
If possible try to audition some Axioms in your area. Also, if you can find a high end AV dealer that has HT type rooms set up where you can listen to various receivers. I try to stay away from the retail chain rooms, as they will not give you the same results. Also, don't buy in to much on all the bright/warm/etc... talk on various receiver/speaker combinations. What Joe Blow hears won't be what you will hear
Good luck on your decision, oh and I almost forgot, I love my Denon/Axiom combination, very detailed and accurate and true sounding.
m60's vp150 ep350 4-Qs8's
Sanyo Z2 Projector
Samsung HD reciever