SOliloquy 5.0 has to be close to the best, give them HUNDREDS of break in hours though,,, wait,, maybe close to a thousand,,, Truly fantastic sounding speakers.
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I think you need to specify their placement. On a bookshelf, ls3/5 (or derivatives thereof) are quite good, but away from the wall (where imaging can be appreciated, and when a reflex port can be tolerated) I'd lean to spica tc-50/60s, epos es-11 (or m-12), or another speaker I've never heard but which is getting a lot of good press, the green mountain audio europa. Many seem to like the new Quads as well.
Also it would help to know what your amp is since the above speakers vary wildly in sensitivity.
I second the Green Mtn. Audio Europas. Replaced a pair of well broken in Dynaudio 1.3 MkIIs. IMHO the Europas out performed the Dynaudios in terms of soundstage, separation of instruments and voices, and general "live" presence of the music. Both sets were driven (not together)by Plinius 8200 Mk 1 integrated.
Here's a TRUE "best monitor" that is priced ridiculously low for it's performance level:
If you can stretch $200 over your budget limit, my vote goes toward the GR Research Ribbon Criterion monitor kit with enclosures (easy to assemble). These babies would cost close to $4,000 retail if they were sold by dealers (due their ultra high level of content and absolute top line "cost no object" parts content). Most $1,000 monitors have less than 20% of this cost level in their total parts content. The Criteron speakers have no "cost saving shortcuts" whatsoever comparatively.
These monitors are designed with one of the best ribbon tweeters in existence! Their custom made woofers handle quite a bit of power, have a very high break up point, and seamlessly integrate with the ribbons IMHO. In terms of the crossover components, I've seen $10,000 highly regarded speakers use crossover parts which aren't nearly as good! Basically, the Criterion's crossovers use the best parts you can buy for any price.
I'm veeeeeeeery impressed with their designer Dannie Richie as he really knows how to voice a speakers right. The only drawback I can think of is that the Critereons need a sub to sound completely full range (but what monitor can't benefot from the addition of a sub?).
Again, I realize the Criterions are slightly over your budget, but in my opinion these speakers are soooooo much better than many monitors costing over $2,000 that I felt compelled to mention them! I know of no other monitor that gives you so much perfection for so little money.