For your budget I would look for a Anthem MCA-50.
And yes, 3 2-Channel amps are better and 5 mono-blocks even better yet. The reason for this is complete isolation of signal and independent power supplies for each channel. Cable runs may also be optimized. The main drawback is you now need 5 power outlets and ground loops could be introduced if amps are located around the room. Advantage is that you can build a sytem over time. You could save a bit if you bought smaller amps for surround speakers. Still, it will probably cost more than a multi-channel amp in the end.
Your Quick Silver idea is good, but for home theater will probably fall short in bottom end dynamics. If you are going for multi-cahnnel audio then this would be a good direction.
Some other solid state ideas would be to look at Monarchy Audio, White Audio Labs, Llano or older McCormack. They all have small monoblock models and stereo models you could mix together to get a full system. The McCormack Micro amps can be bridged so you can get one for the center (bridged) and one for surrounds (stereo). Find a DNA .5 deluxe for the L/R and you are set.
For a bit more "musicality" you could look at Blue Circle. This is a hybrid design with tube input and SS output. They make muti-channel amps as well. Price is going to be higher however. Older Counterpoint could be another budget hybrid option. There are reliability issues, but repair is available. Llano also made some hybrid amps, but I have not seen many on Audiogon lately.