B&W 602 s3(front), 601 s3(rear), LCR600 s3 cen and ASW 675 sub. My budget is around $1000 - Marantz, Denon, Sony es, Pioneer Elite???
nice speakers!! if you value musicality, i'd get an Arcam AVR200, it retails for 1200US but should go for around 1000 discounted. it does not have too many bells and whistles, but in my opinion can't be beat (at the price) on pure sound quality. although contributors to this site do recommend this brand a lot, i think NAD also takes a good stab at musicality, and a comparable NAD receiver (eg. T753) can be had for less than the Arcam. Either the Arcam or NAD receivers will work very nicely with B&W speakers. There is also a new receiver by cambridge audio, the azur line, that sounds like a gem. I haven't heard it myself so I can't comment on how it would match with B&W's, but there's a couple of threads on this site with more info on it, check 'em out. As you can tell, I'm more of a music critic than a home theatre critic. I feel that if a receiver can be musical then it will also do well in home theatre. Of the brands you mention I like Marantz the best. I purchased an SR5200 (one of Marantz's junior models) for my dad, and it sounds fine with PSB image speakers (which i think have a similar sonic signature to the B&W 600 series). The Marantz receivers are very well equipped for the money, they may not have the bells and whistles of the other 3 brands you mention but I think they are a good compromise between features and sound quality. In my taste, the Arcam, NAD, and (I expect) the Cambridge Audio have superior musicality, but the Marantz line sounds pretty decent (musically)with what I've heard. In home theatre, to my ears, the Marantz has a more forward sound than the Arcam or NAD (both of which are liquid smoooooth). This makes explosions sound more bright and more palpable, but i find this to be a little more fatiguing on long term listening. As always, be sure to have a good listen to any receiver before you buy (ideally with the speakers you have). Your ears will give you a better opinion than any info I can provide!! Sounds like you'll have the foundation of a really decent system. all the best, and enjoy!
I have a Marantz and B&W 603s. Music sounds great, although I recommend listening to the combo. I THINK Marantz/B&W combo may slightly muddy the sound, especially with older CDs. Don't misunderstand Marantz & B&W are both awesome products, but maybe an Integra or Arcam (I have never heard an Arcam) will sound marginally better.
I went for a Marantz 7300ose. Very happy with this combo (check my earlier posts, my #1 choice would've been DynAudio Audience 42 + NAD T762, but too pricy up North).
I have never ever gone louder than -20dB for DTS 5.1, or -25dB for 2 ch stereo in my apartment (kitchen+living area is 13' x 28' x 8').
My other choice would've been a NAD T752/T762 for my B&Ws. But I have not lost any sleep over it. And the Marantz has not given me a single issue since I got it 3 months ago. OK the remote sucks. But everyone knows this.
Test drove the B&Ws with a Denon 2803 and it was *very* fatiguing. Would've been great for HT, but not music IMHO.
Also, like others suggested, at US$1k you should definitely consider Arcam or Rotel, especially if your budget is somewhat flexible.