I know what you mean. And then when you find what you like, you find out that it won't fit, it's not in stock, or the price just went up.
My recommendation is that you decide exactly what features you want in a new head unit and then browse Crutchfield's
web site for what fits your vehicle. Currently they list 175 receivers ranging in price from $49.99 to $1,799.99. Another good online resource is SonicElectronix
. They have nearly everything you want in car audio and their prices are better than you will find at Crutchfield. But their shipping is much higher if you are anywhere east of the Mississippi, it's slower, and their service just isn't as good as Crutchfield's.
Personally, I like Alpine, JVC, and Kenwood. Others may be partial to Pioneer or Sony. Any of these will be an improvement over a stock OEM radio and offer an output for your Rockford-Fosgate amp. My choice for a good basic receiver with CD and a few "must have" features would be the Alpine CDA-105. Or, for under $100, choose the JVC KD-PDR30. It still has preamp outputs and has an AUX input on the front so you plug in your MP3 player or iPod.
One nice thing about Crutchfield is the "Outfit my car" feature. It will tell you what fits and what modifications are needed if it isn't an exact fit. Also, If you are a first-time purchaser from Crutchfield, your order is at least $200, and you use a "friend referral code", such as mine, which is p7sdj-hrx8q-9800, you will get a $20 discount.
Hope this helps.