How to hear the best speakers?

I have had some success in this endeavor. Prior to visiting some hi-end shops, I have called and asked employees what their favorite in house speakers were. This method frequently brought me to lesser expensive brands with superior sound. I discovered Shahinian, Soundlab, and Quad loudspeakers in this way. What has helped you in the quest for the best?
Great idea..since most employees cant afford the hi-end stuff they sell...most have a very simple set up...monitors,intergrated amp, and not surprisingly...a very good general...their money is put in the source and amplification...speakers...often small reference quality 2-ways...are the smallest out of pocket cost...makes sense...a good, thought out simple system will often beat out a more elaborate one...1k speakers with 4-5k behind will sound very good...
Forgot to mention...Spendors seem to be employee favorites...
In my quest, I was actually looking for the best loudspeaker money can buy. It just so happened however that the best sounding speakers in the shop were frequently not the most expensive. The shop with the Quad 988's had loudspeakers selling for 4 or 5 times more than the Quads. I should have mentioned my experience with speaker reviews in my original post. I have taken trips to hear loudspeakers that so and so raved about in his review. Often times however the speakers don't live up to my expectations. I think you just have to listen for yourself.

"I think you just have to listen for yourself".
Couldn't have said it better.
Happy Holidays to all
??? There is nothing inexpensive about the Sound labs...

I will give you an example of where this did not pan out for me - Martin Logan. I apologize in advance to people who own them.

A frequently encountered example of what you are saying: The Revel F-series speakers.
I agree sounlabs aren't cheap. They are however inexpensive compared to rivals such as pipedreams. It's a relativity thing in my opinion. My point is that the most expensive isn't always the best.
Point VERY well taken, Holzhauer.