Please help fill in the blanks...

Username says it all. Thinking about about Thiel CS2.4 or Vandersteen 3A Signature. Also thinking about Jolida JD 100A as source. Any recommendations on tube preamp and SS amp? Budget range for the two pieces would be around $4K to $6K. I listen to a wide variety of music and will occasionally listen at elevated levels, but not very often. I have a couple of decent "shoebox" shaped rooms as well, although they're hardwoods and drywall. There seems to be so much to choose from and I don't think I have the time or patience to listen to it all, even if it was available for listening in my area. I just don't want to make any mistakes by "incorrectly" assembling a system. Seems to be enough expeience here to help me avoid catastrophic blunders.

How are my choices so far?

Newerby - Well, good that you should ask. Your initial inclination about speakers suggests to me that you need to focus on that issue a bit more. The speakers which you mentioned have different amplification requirements and sound very different from each other. For example the Thiel house sound tends to be very detailed and revealing and if not driven the right associated electronics can sound very bright and/or annoyingly harsh. But, properly driven they are not overly bright, can image incredibly well, and can be very dynamic. The Vandersteens are much more forgiving of the electronics used and the environment you put them in however they will probably not be the imaging/revealing speakers that the Thiels are. The safe selection is the Vandersteens but you should try to listen to both before you chose. And, if you are ambivilent about either, I would suggest you check out the Spendor line which are a good compromise, are easily driven (most models anyway) and are priced well in the used market. When you select your speaker, check back re step at a time brings the best recommendations.
Good post, Newbee. The 2.4 is warmer than predecessors, but still on the lean and lucid side, of course, as you say.
If those hardwood floors are not fully covered, and/or you've got lots of stuffed furniture you'll have to pay attention to very careful room treatment to keep the balance from being too flat. Regardless, in-room demos of fine speakers like these are absolutely recommended. (Hint: Do you like wall-wall carpeting?)
All right. I'll slow down and take my time. I listened to the Vandersteen 2Ce and didn't care for them all that much. I can't find the 3A Signature. I'm leaning toward the Thiel CS2.4, but have only really listened to Revel RF30, B&W 703, and some Triangles. I'll see what else I can listen to, decide on speakers first, and then come back.

How's an almost wall-to-wall throw rug with padding? The room would be empty except for some heavy window treatments and my listening chair/couch. I can allow for additional acoustical improvements as well.

Thank you,
Your rug should work quite well. What you are trying to do is to reduce high frequency reflections from the floor. You should also plan to have some type of dispursive/difussion materiels on the 1st reflection points on your side walls, the wall behind your listening position and (unless you get panel speakers which is an intirely new ball game) the wall behind the speakers. Bookcases filled with books, plants, wall hangings etc work well and IMHO are not as ugly as stuff designed for audiophiles. What are the dimensions of your room - where do you think you want to have your speakers placed and listening position located? Limitations in this area could effect the speaker type/make descision. FWIW, room acoustics and speaker type are far more important than the make of your speakers and the electronic's. Put on the reading spec's and start looking into room acoustics. The end result will be more than well worth the effort. Forgive the sermon.
If you didn't like the 2Cesigs, you probably will not go for the 3Asigs. There is a definate family sound, although the 3As are much more of everything (and very satisfying IMO), and with the right upstream components are not "too laid back" as some would say. However, Vandys can sound good w/lots of different electronics, while some say that Thiels are "ruthlessly revealing".
I have owned thiel cs2.4s for six years and can verify that they are "ruthlessly revealing". I drive mine with a bat tube preamp and krell amp. Neither was cheap. If your budget is only 4-6k you might want to consider a more forgiving pair of speakers. Just giving you a heads up, they can sound awesome but plan to spend some serious money on a ss amp.
I would take a look at the dunlavy sc4's that are listed;these are a world class speaker worth considering and sounds great with either ss or tube power.
I had scIII's driven by roland model 6 and cary slam 100 monoblocks;they performed equally as well with either amp.
I would think the dunlavy's would outperform the theils across the board and maybe easier to select which power to drive them and have more options as well.