One thing to mention... when looking at speakers consider who is responsible for engineering/designing them. There are very well known and expert people who understand how to do this. Andrew Jones, Richard Vandersteen, Jack Oclee-Brown, Vince Bruzzese, Bill Dudleston, John Dulavy, Kevin Voecks, Dean Hartley, just to name a few. Some of these guys have dedicated time and resources to great budget projects that led to awesome success.
Agreed on this. The other element is which companies have the proper design tools and equipment? Kef and Revel are two examples of companies that invest incredible resources in r&d and measurement that boutique manufacturers can never touch. It is an enormous advantage.