First, I would like to point out how incredibly refreshing it is to see threads that don't flat out insult other manufacturers, dealers, or people. It is a BIG change from some other threads that I've read, and I hope this continues.
Also, even though I currently own both the Fremonts and the Pinyon/Uinta combination, I never rule out acquiring additional gear to play with or to install in a different system. The fact that Duke from Audiokinesis was so honest and forthright makes me want to locate a pair of his speakers for a listening session (hint, hint: are they available for listening in NYC?).
Now, on to the Fremonts: I've heard them from their first public showing in 2005, and they have never been anything less than excellent.
HOWEVER, there are some very important caveats here: some of the rooms in which I heard them had horrible acoustics (big surprise there: bad acoustics in a hotel room). In those rooms, I heard them early on, when they were first installed, and they definitely sounded much different from what I heard later on in the show. They needed adjustments in terms of placement in order to overcome crappy acoustics -- one room actually measured, if memory serves, down 13dB @ 50 Hz -- not great for bass reproduction, yet the Fremonts were able to sound balanced after moving them around a bit.
Also, and probably more to the point, the associated electronics matters a lot, since the Fremonts tend to reveal the characteristics of the entire chain's synergy. Not in a harsh, analytical way, but you WILL hear MAJOR differences among the gear. You don't have to use the most expensive equipment, but the rest of the chain must be chosen with care to maximize the system synergy. For example, I heard some gear that retailed one-third the price of some alternate pieces, that sounded MUCH better, due to the system synergy.
Escalante's designer, Tierry Budge, builds speakers to sound natural across the widest range of equipment, but the speakers are SO revealing of both the music and the equipment, that small changes to either can yield big changes to the resulting sound. Whether this difference is better or worse is entirely up to the listener, and makes for some interesting conclusions: there were two rooms at the 2006 RMAF that used Fremonts, and they couldnt have sounded more different. Both systems, to my ears, sounded musical and natural, but there were huge differences between the solid state room with Pass Labs gear, and the tube/hybrid room using the Butler Monads. The differences between the CHAIN were revealed, and whether people liked one or the other more, depended on their taste in amplification. I heard some people who swear by tubes say that the sound in the Butler room was ten times better than the Pass-equipped room, with warmth and an expansive soundstage; while solid-state advocates went nuts over the bass extension, focus, and detail present from the Pass gear. Go figure
So, before coming to a conclusion regarding the speakers, try to arrange a listening session with a chain (including cables and interconnects!) that reflects your current system, or if you are planning to build or upgrade a system, speak to an Escalante dealer or owner to find out how things would fit. (This would be valid advice for any speaker but the Fremonts do seem to be more accurate in allowing the sound of the rest of the system to come through). From my experiences in audio (since 1977), the Fremonts are outstandingly fast, dynamic, and musically accurate.