Iv'e heard both of these speakes side by side with the same equipment and music. Id choose the B&W simply because the Paradigms are horrendously bright. They remind me of my PSB Stratus Minis, except with a lot more treble.
Yep. I couple days ago I heard them side by side with the same equipment as well. When the salesman switched to the Paradigms, it sounded awful to my ears. Like you said, very bright and hollow. The B&W's sounded much fuller and warm.
I have not heard the models you are looking at but I have heard the 8S (newest model) and the 803D ( about the same price 8,000-9,000). The B&W 803d was much better. It had a wider more open midrang and was dynamic.