Re: another newbie with lots of questions
You must do what Andrew says,and read his review. This is a great receiver, in your price range that really has everything and is not missing anything. The only other receiver I can think of, that Andrew reviewed also, which is in your price range too, is the Yamaha RX-V861. The Yamaha, has its on DSP features, so if you are into different sounds and playing with the sound field, I would also read Andrew`s review on the Yamaha RX-V861 as well.
Either one, you should be quite satisfied with.