While we tend to think that the sweet spot in receivers is the $500 price point (hence the reason we started with that comparison article), the fact is, some people are just looking for something. Anything. Maybe it's for them and they are on a serious budget. Maybe it's for their parents or their kids or some other secondary use. The key is that it has to be cheap. While a few years ago, the entry level receivers had little more than stereo inputs and Dolby ProLogic, these days you can get 3D capable HDMI inputs, discrete amps, and onscreen displays. We've again hit all the major players (except for Harman Kardon, their "budget" surround receiver was in the $500 comparison) with Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sherwood, and Sony in the mix. Prices range from a low of $229 to a high of $399.
Discuss "2010 Entry Level A/V Receiver Comparison Guide" here. Read the article.
Afterreading this article, one is way better off buying last year's model a few lines up then to choose from any of these entry level receivers.