I'm probably risking getting flamed but Sony is not a company known for its good receivers. I know personally several people who have various Sony receivers and non of them are happy with them. If I were you I would look at Denon, Yamaha or Onkyo instead.
Yeah, I'm with Tony on the Sony :R
I have an STR-DE995 which was a top of the line (the DE line) receiver and it really has problems driving much of any load. The Sony's are generally easy to set-up and use and will likely perform for a number of years if you have some nice, efficient easily driven speakers. And don't push it too hard.