Monarchy Audio SE 100 Delux or the tube hybrid 160, either can be had for under $2000. I have used the 100's to drive WATT/Puppy 5.1's and they never ran out of power up to 100 db levels.
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Put Amplifier Technologies Inc. (ATI) on your list. Morris Kessler, the owner, is the man who got SAE started back in the '70's.
I picked up a pair of new AT1502's for $650 each. They have 150 wpc in stereo and 450 wpc in mono at 8 ohms. The build quality is great. The company even winds it own transformers. It's all made in the US to boot.
I have tubes in my upstream equipment so, I am not totally solid state and the sound gives me what I am looking for.
I have bought some thirty different amps in the past 15 years-Spectral, Audio Research, Ayre, Spectron, Pass, GAS, Sumo, N.E.W., Crown, Polyfusion, Graaf, VTL,-you get the picture, I am pretty hard to satisfy.
You can get major gains by going to monoblocs. Doing this with cheaper, good quality amps might surprise you over going to the name brands in stereo. I have Maggie 3.6's that certainly appreciate the power.
I auditioned the Gallo Reference 3's recently. I took one of my ATI's into the dealer and they were surprised. The comment from the sales rep was that it sounded better than the Parasound JC 1's.
Your listening biases may be different than mine but, when I can have great sounding, good looking, quality amps, and leave some major cash in my pocket, it leaves me to wonder about the value of the boutique amplifiers.
I am using Cary 805C's, and the combination works great.
While this may be a little out of you price range, I would suggest trying to find a used pair of SLM-100's. I had a pair these before upgrading to 805C's, and they were really nice. Also, a used Cary V12 may do the trick. These speakers seem to work particularly well with tubes or smoother sounding solid state.