The Energy Reference Connoisseur line offers a completely different presentation of that to B&W's CM series. As you'd come to expect from Energy, the RC-70s are smooth but also extremely rich and detailed. The high frequencies are some of the smoothest I've heard at their given price point. I've read that the RC series is designed with the usage of home theater in mind, but I strongly disagree with those statements. I'm using the RC-70s in a two-channel system and they sound equally impressive, if not more, with music. Both imaging and soundstage are very solid with these speakers. They are on the warm side of neutral, which isn't a bad thing at all since you could listen to them comfortably for hours and hours. It seems that Energy isn't a well known name in audiophile circles, so it always grates on me I hear people tell me to "upgrade" the RC-70s with B&W, JBL, etc. John Tchilinguirian, the engineer behind Energy's highly acclaimed Veritas line, designed the RC series and also incorporated the former's aluminum-dome tweeter and tapered crossover into the series. Unfortunately, Klipsch acquired their parent company, API, and discontinued with the brand's cherry and rosenut finishes.
I haven't had a chance to listen to the CM9s, but I did hear the CM7s and thought they were overpriced IMO. While they did offer extremely good bass response for such a small enclosure, I noticed the tweeter had a metallic harshness to it which I didn't enjoy.
You can't go wrong with either, but it depends on what kind of sound you like. As long as you're using quality components, you'll be happy either way. If you decide to go with the Energy's, you won't get the snob appeal of the B&W's. But what you will get is impressive performances that rivals that of much expensive speakers.