Ask Engadget HD: What's the best AV receiver for around $600?

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Ask Engadget HD: What's the best AV receiver for around $600?
It's been quite a while since we checked in on the midrange receiver market, but our friend Simon's query has brought this crucial home theater component back to the forefront:
"It's way past time for me to get a new receiver, my old one doesn't even have HDMI and I'm ready for a full audio upgrade. I don't want to break the bank and I figure I should be able to get something good for $500 - $600, but which one's the best? I do use my iPod so compatibility with that would be nice, and since I plan to have this one as long as I did the old one, it should probably be 3D ready and all of that stuff too. Any ideas?"
Simple and to the point, there's plenty of brands and models out there to choose from and the 2010 market has been full of selections that meet his criteria. Let us know which one you prefer in the comments below.

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