Updated: I wrote Epos 3, Meant EPOS 11s
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Maybe consider some used separates to get you to the next level. There was a Dyna PAT4 that sold last week for 95.00, and there is a Hafler amp for sale for 250.00. Then, save a little more and get a decent preamp, then later, get a decent DAC, and then later yet, upgrade the amp, but before you upgrade the amp, get a really good, and they don't necessarily need to be really expensive, pair of speakers. It doesn't make much sense, IMO, to spend a lot on an amp only to later change speakers, because your new amp might not be capable of adequately driving the speakers. To me, that makes sense for the long term if you can't plop down a lot of money at one time, and your goal is to have a reasonably priced high end system.
I think your epos speakers are good, I would change the amp! I worked my way up the integrated chain owning:Rotel,Arcam,Rega,and Bryston. Bryston is my favorite, but I really loved the sound of my Rega Brio.(if you don't need a remote or a ton of power!) I think a used Mira would be a great choice too. Sometimes you can find Bryston-B60's here on A'gon for about $1000, and have at least 10 years of warranty left.(great amp!) I have also heard my friends PrimaLuna, which is what I would buy if I was getting into tubes. Good Luck!
GReat speakers on a "bad" amp is a recipe for sonic disaster. I would rather you go for the best integrated amp you can find in your budget, and then go from there. However, if your ipod is playing compressed files, you are quickly going to reach (maybe already have) the limit of improvement you can make w that source.
I also support upgrading the amp first - your speakers are good, especially in the context of a stsrting system. I think you should take a look at the Musical Fidelity range of amps. The A300 would match well with your Epos speakers and has a terrific MM/MC phono stage. Second hand they go for around $800 and with 150 w/ch into 8 ohms, they will drive most any speaker you may upgrade to in the future.
I'd spend $700 on an SVS SB12-Plus small box sealed subwoofer. I assume your receiver has bass management so adding the sub should be a snap.
I'm sure others will disagree, but I've found that within a given technology (tubes or solid state) electronics sound much more alike than different. Speakers always yield the greatest improvement per dollar and a good sub can be an excellent long term investment.