They use range specs to market VHF/UHF handhelds to people who don't understand radio, but those specs are essentially useless. Half a watt will easily go hundreds of km if there's nothing in the way, as any ham who's played with satellites knows — but 50 watts won't be enough to go 2km if there's a big chunk of mountain in the way.
More power helps a little bit to get through "soft" obstacles, like going room-to-room in a building, or to overcome noise in a city environment. A better receiver helps somewhat to pull in a weak signal or to reject noise on other channels. But neither one is a range multiplier in ordinary situations. Neither one will let you go significantly further over the horizon, or make very much difference in the shadow of an obstacle. They'll help clean up a noisy signal if you're on the fringe of coverage, but they won't push that fringe out very far.
What you really want is five watts, a reasonably efficient antenna, and reasonably well-designed electronics. Which is something that you will get from most radios. You can spend extra to get things like a rugged/weatherproof case, nicer controls/display, better battery life, compatibility with your favorite digital mode, or any number of bells and whistles — but once you've reached that plateau of decency, all handhelds are going to be very nearly the same in terms of how far you can go.
If that doesn't do it for you, then you start thinking "how high can I mount an antenna for a base station?", not "where can I get a better HT?"