Help wanted choosing speakers and subwoofer

I'm starting my first home theatre system. I have $1500-2000 for the main speakers and $1000-1500 for a subwoofer. I have $2000 -3500 for either a receiver or separates. I've read good things about the Vandersteen 2ce and the Magnepan 1.6 for main speakers and the Rel Strata and Vandersteen 2wq subwoofers. I've read good things about NAD, Rotel, and Sunfire for power and processing.

I am open to opinions, suggestions, guidance as to where to start and what to consider.

Your input is appreciated.
Is this for 2-channel or HT? If it's for 2 channel music...

After having used monitors with a sub for many years, I just switched to floorstanders a month ago. Although my floorstander doesn't reach to the lower bowels the way my sub did, what it did uncover was an incredible amount of music and information in the bass I'd been missing all this time. However, the subs you're considering are very good, and may get you the bass quality I had missed.

If space permits, I'd suggest you consider combining your budget for monitor and sub or using 75% of it towards a really good full range speaker and spending the rest on the preamp/amp or on music/movies.

If your question is based on a home theater configuration, you can ignore my recommendation. I think a sub or subs would be essential for high impact movies.
Check out von schweikert, they have some package deals that are pretty good I run a complete package with VR4JRs as mains, and VR1s as rears and the matching center and sub. I am sure that using VR2s would be great. The Sunfire Ultimate receiver is a great choice in your price range for home theater.
Thank you Gunbei and Maineiac for your input. To clarify, this is for a home theater configuration and I do watch a lot of movies on DVD. My current stereo and dvd setup is in a small to medium size room. I am NOT looking for room/wall-shaking bass out of a subwoofer. I want something instead that is fast, accurate, detailed, and musical. I love the music that is intertwined within the movie. I also want to hear the subtle nuances of deep bass music.

Your recommendation about the highly reviewed von schweikerts,Maineiac, is a good one. I'm curious about what you like about your current system and how much you paid for the whole of it? In addition, are you using the Sunfire Ultimate Receiver and, if so, what do you like about it?

Your recommendation, Gunbei, about combining what I would spend on partial range speakers and the subwoofer for a true full range speaker is an interesting one. I'm wondering others think about idea.

Thank you both.
The mags are spooky but lacking extreme volume for mid bass and require serious power (don't try this with a receiver) I had four 1.6's in my home theater before I went in-walls. The Vandy's plus two Vandy subs will suite you nicely. Otherwise pickup a Revel F15 (I think that is the sub number) for about 1000-1500
In upgrading my speakers, I wanted to listen to a lot more music in multi-channel SACD and wanted more soundstage and imaging with matching and integration. I listened to a lot of speakers, B&W, Tannoy, Thiel, Sonus Faber, Monitor Audio, and Vandersteen. The second I heard the VSA, I knew it was what I was looking for. The 4JRs are awesome. I reconfigured my room around them and now listen mostly to 2 channel music. In reading other posts, you will see that VSA speakers are solid from top to bottom, which is an accurate perspective IMO. The system as a whole matches so well, that you really don't hear any speakers, it is just music or movie sound. That's what I was looking for and got.

The Sunfire is nice at its price point for HT since you get 200WPC power along with a lot of functionality. It sounds great for movies and does good for music, although I am thinking of leaving this as a HT and moving the 4JRs to a dedicated 2 channel set-up. In that case, I will likely go to the VR2s for the back-fill.

As far as how much I paid for the speakers, that is a good question, since it was a bundled price and all at once I got an upgraded BPT-2 power conditioner, BPT cords, as well as Analysis Plus interconnects, and speaker wire. I think it was very close to the package prices on the web-site which are an excellent value.
Now, I got the picture Coach. You're an audiophile, music lover at heart that is starting his first home theater.

In that case monitors with a powerful sub might not be best for you. You're idea of using 2CEs with a 2WQ might be just what you're looking for. Not the most powerful set up, but one that will give you good balance and natural bass. In this configuration I'd run the 2CEs set to "full" with the 2WQ on LFE duty. I'm not sure if the 2WQ would be the best choice for movie LFE, but it should mate well with the 2CEs and will probably be relieved of most of the muscial bass duty with the 2CEs running full range.

Others may feel that there are better home theater choices out there for your mains, center and surrounds, but that depends on your listening taste. You know best why you gravitated towards the Vandies and Maggies.

Good luck, it should be fun and interesting!
Like Maineiac, I've listened to Thiel, B&W, Tannoy, and Vandersteen. I love the Thiel 1.6's but to put together a whole system using Thiel's is outrageously expensive. I've also listened to the Maggie 1.6 and Vandersteen 2ce. Both companies offer an attractive reasonably priced good sounding home theatre system. They are musical, accurate, detailed, casting a wide soundstage. The Maggies are soft in the bass but it's like you are listening to the music live.

Maineiac, what Vandy's did you listen to? Have you heard the new Model 3a Signature which is upgradeable? What was it about the VSA's that won you over vs. the Thiel or Vandy?

In my separate HT system I was looking for musicality AND forgiveness of brightish commercial movie soundtracks, so a front trio of Spendors (S3/1p and matching SC3) works extraordinarily well. I found a great deal on a Boston PV1000 (Velo clone) sub, and like the proper boundary-support voicing of the Boston VR-MX bi/di surrounds a lot.
Adding a cheap NAD receiver completed the setup around $3k with Canare starquads and my DIY PCs. Remember that the last thing you want to be doing is reaching for a treble control while listening to a movie soundtrack....
The dealer that I went to did not have the Vandy 3A, just the 2ce, which I did want to hear but did not have the opportunity. Both the 2ce and the Thiels (both 1.6 and big brother) sounded a bit dead to my ear, flat. The dealer where I listened was dumping Thiel, but they were not open to the details of why. The VSAs sounded so much more open with great soundstage as well as image detail. I thought for sure it was the room and equipment at the dealer but I was fortunae to get an in-home trial and it was the same there (I don't get as much depth since I have my tv and equipment just behind the speakers). The VSAs really have worked great for me. Really changed the way and what I listen to. I would add that tthe Sonus Faber GP Homes were close.