Aerial 7bs or Proac Response 2.5?

I've been scuttling around the state of NC listening to speakers, as I'm thinking of upgrading from my Vandersteen 2ce Signatures. So far, I've heard the Revel F30s, a set of B&Ws floorstanders (didn't catch the model number, but they ran about $2500) The ProAc Response 2.5s, the Vandersteen 3a Signatures, the Aerial 8b, 7b, and 6s, with the Sonus Faber Grand Pianos and Vienna Acoustics Beethoven to come. That's about it for the high-end pickings hereabout, and so far the ProAcs and Aerial 7bs are my favorites. Any opinions? I'm looking for a more resoved, clearer, speaker than the Vandersteens, but that will have low listening fatigue. I'll be running them with Audio Research equipment, likely, although I might be willing to rematch electronics to a speaker I love.
What happen with the 8b's that you did not like?. I have a pair of 8b's and run them with EAD, Rowland gear and I love them I listen to the 7b's and Aerial 10 I purchase the 8b's.
For Me the 8b's have more bass, more resolution and a bigger sound stage than the 7b's all around the 8b is a better performer than the 7b, comming very close(inches) to the model 10. And for looks My pair is finished in Santos Rosewood with stands they are beautiful, off coarse cost could be a factor. Try to listen to the 8b's with lots of clean and control power, I don't know how will they sound with tubes, I'm not a fan of them!!!. Good luck and may the high end gods gide you in you're quest for better sound.
proacs do very well with audio research. i love the 2.5
You may want to listen to the Avalon Acoustics Avatar or Arcus in your search. I liked them better than either the Aerial or the Pro Acs.
I am a real fan of Aerial products, but I have to disagree on the model 8 as the bass can be overwhelming in most rooms. I'd go for the 7B if I were choosing between the Aerial and the Proac. That said, I'd look for a used pair of 10Ts for around $4000 give or take. These remain one of the very best loudspeakers, especially for the money, and are much better than the other Aerial mentioned.
Pmc, both my wife and I preferred the sound of the Aerial 7bs over the 8bs: the sound of the 7bs was more resolved, less smooth... the 8bs sounded surprisingly like my Vandersteens in certain key respects (which is a remarkable tribute to the Vandies-- they're 1/4 the cost). I can see taste swinging the other way... just our ears!
I am in the throes of making a switch from the ProAc 2.5 to (probably) the Thiel 1.6 Strange, I know, but there you have it. After living with the Thiels, I have come to find the ProAcs unacceptably confused sounding and unresolving. Your Vandy's are time and phase coherent, like the Thiels. You may find the absence of those design elements in a speaker like the ProAc a tough pill to swallow.
I had a pair of 7b's and liked them but now own the 10T's and would recommend them...better bass and all around better sound quality...I purchased a used pair for 3200 and sold the 7b's for 2600...
When I looked to upgrade from the Aerial Model 5's, I auditoned the 6, 7 & 8 and decided on the combination of the Model 6 with an REL sub. I will probably upgrade to the Aerial sub in time.

I think the room will play a big part in your decision. My room is around 175 square feet and I had alot of problems with bass loading from the 7 & 8. I don't have the room to place speakers 3 feet out from the wall and the Model 6 can be within 1 ft from the wall without any change in dynamics. It also images better than the 7 & 8.

I auditioned a number of speakers including Pro-Ac, Totem, JM Reynaud, B&W, and the room decided who was the winner. I also believe that audio reviews do not take into consideration room dynamics when recommending speakers.

I would also suggest you contact the manufacturers/distributors direct and pick their brains.
I also love my 2.5s. I took a year to buy them after bringing 11 different speakers into my home for auditions. I've not heard any ARC/2.5 combos but know a couple people who have. They say it's as if the 2.5 was designed for ARC. I, however, drive them in a small room (11 x 13.5) with an AirTight 300B amp and get satisfactory volume and dynamics. The 2.5s are music a lover's speakers, not a "device for the transfer of an electrical signal into a mechanical impulse". I've not heard any Thiels in 5 yrs (tried a pair at home, drove me and my wife from the room!) and I also tried the floorstanding Aerial three way at home. Univolving and a bit artificial sounding, to my taste. Wonderfully built, though, and fairly priced. The ProAcs are overpriced - buy 'em used.