I would highly recommend you audition the Devore 8's.
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Legacy Focus HD - there's a pair here on Agon for $3500 obo. I had these and upgraded to Legacy Whispers. If I ever have to downsize I would gladly buy the Focus again.
Heard the Paradigm 20's, owned Paradigm 9's - the Focus HD's are way way better.
I had Paradigm Studio/60 v2 before. Replaced it with $3000 dealer demo of Hyperion HPS-938 - amazing speaker. You can find link to reviews on their website as well as pictures.
hyperionsound.com It got whole bunch of awards - many component of the year and even component of the decade from "Enjoy the Music" ( hyperionsound.com/awards.htm ) . Used run about $2k. Avoid early 2004/2005 since they improved bracing in first year. They often have 50% off from factory on bamboo finish version.
They look exactly like Wilsons - ugly in my opinion, but sound is incredible. Sound is relaxed, detailed, dynamic, laid back. Imaging is first class. Bass is well controlled and very dynamic but it also sounds very natural (tone, attack & decay).
There is a pair of Legacy Focus HD on this site right now for $3.5K.....that is the most speaker for the money IMHO. Yeah, a bit more than your $3k but if you can swing it, this is a very good speaker. This is also the most recent version and fixes the earlier woofer problems (boominess). Another great buy if you can find is the Coincident Total Eclipse....also a great value and performs favorably with the best (and can be used with tubes with great results). They should cost around $3k.
B&W CM9 sounds superb.
Dynaudio Focus 220 makes most competitors sound wimpy but still serves up bags of detail and texture. Really good.
If you want a very neutral accurate sound and bass is less important, then you could look at the Spendor A5 or A6. Both speakers are nearly perfect from 60hz up.
ATC SCM 40. Again, not a bass champ, but about as accurate as they come.