Thanks for the replies. I ordered the VSX-1120-K for $499. This is my first receiver. I will be running just two speakers (with external power amp) for some time and the Pioneer will do the job while I research pre/pros for my future surround setup.
I do need the video processing part of the receiver now (5 sources), and the Pioneer looks promising for that.
I heard one of these at Best Buy/Magnolia driving a pair of big Martin Logan flat panel speakers. It shockingly good.