Go with the Ninkas and then go active.
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Same as Lugnut. I was looking at the same two speakers when I bought and ended up with the Linn (and I don't even have other Linn components), and now I'm on the brink of making them active! Considering your other components definitely stay with the Linn. Interesting you say the B&W are cheaper. When I was shopping around the B&W's were $500 cdn more than the Ninkas. Strange.
The B & W's wont arrive for another couple of weeks. In the end I chose the B & W's because of the price difference, they were more than $1000 Canadian cheaper than the Ninkas. Had they been the same price I would have gone with the Ninkas. Still I thought they both sounded great so for now I am happy.
Not to labour the point but I was wondering where you purchased and how much you paid. I have suspected that the local dealer had overpriced the B&W's at $3000cdn. Whereas the Ninka's (at another dealer)were $2500 cdn which I have confirmed as a MSRP elsewhere. As there are about 4 local dealers with very little in common in terms of product lines I might limit my patronage to 3 based on this information.
I live in Japan so that may be why the prices are different still it is pretty odd. I got the B & W's for about Canadian $2200. The Ninkas were $3300 with the Ninka stands being an additional $500. THe explanation was that Linn Japan dealers are not allowed to negotiate any discounts in price whereas B & W are able to. The retail price for the B & W was $2900 but they reduced it 25% to make the sale. You can also get the same price for the B & W and Ninka speakers on Japanese internet sites. If you are interested try doing a search on Yahoo Japan shopping. I am finding that the different countries have pretty different prices and if they will ship there are some pretty good deals. I have decided to go with Linn K400 speaker cable and it is half the price in England (10 pounds per meter)that it is in Japan.