Thanks for all the good thoughts guys. I hadn't really heard of Episode speakers before, probably because they're sold exclusively through installers. I was surprised to find consistently good reviews of them from a wide variety of sources, and they seem to offer good value as well. Likewise I've seen nothing but good things regarding RBH in-walls as well, so I have no problem recommending either to my friend. I'm sure he'll be more than happy either way. Incidentally, the installer is quoting the 700 series speakers for the LCRs for about $650, which seems pretty competitive. For that price I thought he'd be quoting the 300 series. Then again he's probably charging full boat for labor. TANSTAAFL as usual.
Very good point about power. He gets a substantial discount on Sony electronics so that's likely the route he'll go, so once he picks speakers I'll make sure they're powered adequately. He wants each room to have its own volume control so I think he'll have to do separate amplifiers, but all other rooms other than his home theater room are strictly for low-level and non-critical ambient music so power not quite as critical.
Anyway, any further thoughts are welcome and thanks for all the input so far.