The first question you will face when assembling a home audio or theatre system is whether to go the route of separate components or an integrated amplifier. Years ago, this question was easily answered based on budget, but these days it might not correlate so directly to cost or ease. Of course, if you don't have the space for several pieces of equipment, then an integrated component may be your only option. The power requirements of your speakers are also an important consideration.
Theoretically, separates provide better sound. Consider that an integrated component fits multiple jobs all in one box: a receiver, for example, may have a tuner (radio), a power amplifier (several if it is a home theatre receiver), and a preamplifier (for volume, tone controls, etc). That's a lot of noise-generating circuitry going on in one box. By having separates, each one is designed to handle one task, with their own dedicated power supplies, and without interference from the other.
This also makes it easier to upgrade components. Ordinarily, receivers and integrated amps cannot be upgraded piece by piece. With separate components, you have the freedom to upgrade part of your system if you find a replacement that strikes your fancy, and you can even keep multiple components (such as pre-amplifiers) and switch them depending on what you're listening to. With integrated components, you're stuck with whatever's built in.
In general, if you have the money and the space, seriously consider separates. Otherwise, buy the best receiver or integrated amplifier within your budget, such as our new RA-1570.