Go Gallo all-around. Ref. 3.1s up front with a Ref AV Center and 2 Ref Avs in the rear. Complement with the Gallo woofer and you're set. Purchased off Audiogon should put you in the $5k ballpark...
How about a surround system with all omni-directional speakers for under $5000?
Take a look at www.ohmspeakers.com.
I'm not a surround sound kind of guy ( I have a simple 2 channel A/V system in addition to my main audio system), but if I were, this is what I'd probably be considering. I never really considered it but I own enough pairs of Ohms (3 pair currently) to do it if I wanted, I suppose.
I suggest you take a look at the SVS MTS-01 family. Either the bookshelf or tower system, you'll have ample funds left over for one of their excellent subwoofers. Read the Secrets of Home Theater review linked from the SVS page.
Ufmatt00, I understand your concern. I bought the last 3 pairs of speakers without ever hearing them, but I'm pretty sure what appeals to me so I really wasn't taking a much of a risk.
I believe SVS has a reasonable return policy. The review by Dr. Johnson would be enough for me to try them -- I like measurements. Based on the quality of their subs, the tweeter they are using, the fact they've been in business for a decade, offer excellent customer support I really don't see a down side.
In the spirit of full disclosure... I have not heard them, but even if I had what sounds good to me may not sound good to you. There is also a review of their entry speaker line in the most recent Sensible Sound.
I would probably buy a pair for auditioning to keep return shipping costs down. I would buy one of their subs regardless of whose speakers you end up buying.
Well, I am not sure about the rest but I would go full range ( or at least very close to it ) all around and sub only for .1 effects. Especially true if surround music is your cup of tea. There is no substitute for full scale presentation IMHO.
Also , if movies is all that you need them to do well - go THX all the way but most speakers that excell in music reproduction are also great for Hollywood crap. If you are going to go with small monitors , they all should be the same in all aspects.
For movies only - I like M&K THX all around. For music.....I like my own AAD 2001 monitors that reach down to 30Hz and you can always add their sub later. However that setup ( 5 monitors would cost you around 5K - given that dealer would give you a price break on the package of 5 ) . This set up would be funtastic IMO, based on my experience in stereo mode since I am not much of videophile myself.
Cheers and good luck
Ufmatt00, sorry I can't help you in comparing the systems you are considering, but I'm curious how large is your room and how far away from the speakers will you be sitting?
Unless you have a huge room I see no reason to have such a big box as the Axiom M80 towers. And personally, I would pick the SVS stand mount over their floorstander. Large boxes seldom add anything positive; especially in this case since the SVS floorstander isn't a 3-way and you'll be using a sub. Also, compare the weight of the Axiom tower to the SVS -- the Axiom has 2X the number of drivers and yet weighs less. Hmmm...
Here's two links measuring the Axiom EP-600
and the SVS PB13 Ultra subwoofers. It appears to be no contest to me.
Again, I suggest you pick an SVS sub regardless of which speakers you choose. Good luck.
I ended up getting an incredible deal on Focal speakers at a local tweeter store, and picked up a Panamax power conditioner as well. What subwoofer do you recommend for my system? Tweeter did not carry the SW908 that matches my speakers, so I think I might need to go with another brand sub:
Pioneer Elite VSX-84txsi receiver (msrp 1500)
Pioneer Elite DV-48av dvd player (msrp 300)
Panamax M5400-ex power conditioner (msrp 700)
Focal Profile 918 front towers (msrp 2000/each)
Focal Profile CC908 Center (msrp 1700)
Focal Profile 908 bookshelf rears (msrp 1150/each)