New System for the House

I want to put together a small system for our living room. The room is only 20' x 14' and has wood floors, ceiling and walls. It's real wood (3/4" tongue and groove pine) and is stained not painted. The ceilings are 8.5' high. I've got a 32" LCD currently.

I'd like audiogoner's input on an integrated amp and two small speakers.
On the amp I need at least 2 inputs and would like remote volume control. Looks are important in that this will be a hard sell for my wife.
On the speaker side, I like the Totem Rainmakers if that gives an idea of size and response, I'm not opposed to adding sub, if there's a good amp that'll drive it without additional electronic hardware.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I want to keep the whold shebang under 2 grand. Sounds easy enough, eh?
Rainmakers are not bad but a little boxy sounding. Go up to the Rokk's or Staff's.

Good amp would be an Arcam or Rotel as a second choise.

If you do a sub, find a REL or a 10" Energy as a second choice.

I have an awsome sub for sale used which is a Kinergetics but would not win the wife as it is ugly.
The Linn Classik integrated might work in your situation, which seems to be one in which you don't desire to make the sound system the main focus of the room. The Linn is very compact and does not call attention to itself with hi-fi nerd design or ostentatious bling. Good luck!
Keeping the Totems, here are some short lists:
New: Rotel RA 1062, Audio Refinement Complete, Blue Circle CS
New all in one, a little more expensive: Linn Classik
Used: Unico Integrated, Naim Nait 5i (integrated and CD), Blue Circle 21.1
Exodus 641 kit speakers from Kevin Haskins at:

They cost $665 without cabinets, but he was supplying cabinets when I bought mine a few months back. Have him assemble the crossovers and all you need do is mount the drivers, hot glue the crossover boards to the inner cabinet walls and hook up all wires (push tab type connectors - NO soldering iron needed!) I built my pair in 2 hours and they sound fabulous, absoulutely on a par with $2000+ loudspeakers (I've owned quite a few commercial speakers, up to $25K/pair). Anyone looking to spend $1000 on bookshelf loudspeakers should consider the Exodus 641s. Anyone can build them. The midrange driver is truly remarkable. The woofer gives a true 30Hz bottom in-room, something very few bookshelf speakers at any price deliver. The tweeter is the Usher clone of the ScanSpeak 9700.

Integrated amp s/b 100W/Ch or higher. I use an old Musical Design D-140 amp w/ EVS Ultimate attenuators (140W/Ch), $620 used for the amp and passive attenuators as a basement system. With a Sony DVP-S7000 player($95 used) I have a system that betters some $10K range systems I've put together before. A cheaper $400-$700 range used power amp plus a passive linestage like the Axiom may save you over an integrated amp. The older version DK Design VS-1 integrateds still seem to be plentiful and in your price range. They certainly are a nice power match for the Exodus 641s, but I've not heard them.

Good luck.

Many thanks for the input - I'm going to look into the 641's for sure.
WHOA Man, what is up with the Blue Circle stuff. The specs and sound may shine but the look of that stuff. Whew, I made better looking stuff in 8th grade shop class. I don't mean to offend, but geez, those giant wooden knobs?!? The wife ain't going for that.
The Blue Circle stuff looks better in person but is still man jewlery. When the lights are off it looks cool.
You can order silver knobs and all the designer colors of your choice.
I think the new Blue Circle amps can look quite elegant:
here's an idea, you could grow a pair, and tell the wife that you are going to set up a great sounding system, and then go for what you want. of course i've been married 3 times, so what the heck do i know, right ?
I didn't mean any offense to those who like the look of the BC stuff, I read up more on it and it sounds like the guy making it is a hoot!. I think I'm going to build my own speakers based on my conversations with the folks at Madisound. I'm seriously considering a couple of Dared pieces, the SL-2000A pre and the VP-300B mono blocks. They're small, suit my tastes asthetically, fit the budget and most folks in the SET camp seem to like them as long as the speakers they're driving are efficient enough.
Thanks for everyone's input - even you Readster. I'm on my first wife, she's a keeper - I try to pick my battles very carefully.