Dynaudio 52's. Dynamic, full sounding, and surprisingly good bass for a small monitor.
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Track down a pair of NHT's SB3. They were recently discontinued and can be found new for less than 2/3 of your friend's budget ($600 list). They are acoustic suspension/sealed box design and will work very well with on bookshelf; near rear wall placement. I own a pair of the SB2 and have had them placed on shelves inside of a bookcase and they performed very well. You just give up decent soundstaging when you go with on-shelf placement. If your friend is up to changing his electronics, tell him to try an Outlaw RR2150 receiver (it comes with a phono stage). The RR2150 lists for $600 and is available direct from Outlaw Audio .