Returning to HiFi with twin toddlers need help

More experienced audiophiles, please bear with me:-)

After to moving to a new apt, our old, tired stereo broke and we decided not to bother fixing it until we could get our CDs ripped. We finally did that (FLAC + MP3) and our now ready to plunge in at around the $1500 price level.

Mostly we will listen to pop, jazz and classical in a large LR (25X20) that opens into an adjacent kitchen (20X20) where we spend a lot of time. Both rooms have lampwire in each of four corners, although that might not be part of our solution. What will be part of our solution is a pair of bookshelf speakers that pass the "wife" and "baby" test: tasteful enough to disappear and indestructible to a toddler.

The system must also be upgradeable to home theater in an HD environment (as much as possible, we'd like to future proof this). The music source will be streaming via Apple TV and iPod.

Current thinking is that we need a 7.1 two zone AV receiver, and have narrowed it down to three: Denon 2308; Marantz 5002; Integra 5.8. All three are 7.1, two zone receivers capable of passing 1080p and with three in, one out HDMI. (Please correct me if I'm wrongds on the deets.)

Last week I was pretty happy listening to a pair of Monitor Audio R180s played through the Integra which also has better HD capablilites than the Marantz. So my current thinking is to buy a pair of 180s to be located in a bookcase, along with a pair of R45s in the kitchen facing the LR. (Added plus: MAs pass the wife and baby tests, becz they're white and pretty indestructible.) I know it's an audiophile sin to put speakers in the bookshelf but I'm not sure what else to do. Hanging 180s above our heads seems like a waste of good sound.

in any event, this setup should allow us to upgrade the LR setup with sub, rear and centers as we need it (and to upgrade the 45s in the kitchen if we don't like them).

Given the above, how should I deal with all these compromises:

--Should we put the speakers in the shelves or hang em high in the LR? And if so, what speakers are best for this setup?
--Do we really need 7.1-two zone or would we be better with a better class of receiver. If we went 5.1 two zone, what would buy us better sound for the money (which NAD, etc.)
--Suppose we stick with the receiver: which one is best suited to the 180s, the Denon, Marantz, or Integra?
--Are the Monitor 180s the best speaker for this setup or would we be better with Tannoys or Energies? I listened to Definitives and was not impressed; Totems were better, but the MAs had great image.

Finally, where's the best places to buy gear online and get a dscount. The local store wants 800 for the Integra, 500 for the MA R180s, 100 for a pair of the R45s. I already know there are cheaper prices out there.

Many thanks for your opinions and advice!
I would check out Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 for fronts. They are great sounding speakers for the money (about $350), and then use their Diamond 9.0's for surrounds (about $250). You could get a Wharfedale center channel later on, plus a good sub (save your money for this purchase and get a g-o-o-d sub, hard to find under about $800).

The Wharfedales are front ported (as are the MA 180s) so they could be on a bookshelf (wall or book shelf, I would put them at the same height as your TV).

You do not need 7.1, in my mind 5.1 is plenty unless you are building a dedicated theater room with velvet drapes and a popcorn machine!?! Having extra zones are handy if you want to wire speakers in a completely different room eventually.

Best receiver? You already mentioned NAD, what about Outlaw or Harmon Kardon for the same scratch?
I solved a similar problem for my next door neighbor 2 years ago, except instead of toddlers, they had cats. I wanted to put in speakers that would fill a cathedral-ceilinged open architecture living/dining space, and that cats couldn't knock off stands or scratch up. I chose the Mirage Omnisats on wall-mounted brackets with matching subwoofer and they worked perfectly.

Check out the info here (main satellites), here (matching 8" subwoofer), and here (wall-mount brackets).

The Omnisats can handle up to 150w RMS, the little 8" sub reaches down to about 28Hz, and the wall brackets enable you to mount the speakers on a wall, away from little inquisitive fingers. For even more protection, the speaker grilles are metal mesh like a fencer's mask. If you want more bass, Mirage also makes a matching 10" sub which goes deeper and louder.

Even mounted on the wall, the satellites provide surprisingly good imaging. With a phase switch and fully adjustable crossover on the sub (from 40-180 Hz) you can easily dial in a smooth transition without a wall resonance "hump."

The speakers are capable of good high-end sound. The satellite midrange and sub drivers are all titanium-coated poly; the tweeters are pure titanium with a cloth surround that very effectively damps out any ringing.

Oh, and the speakers are truly omnidirectional, which means that they do a great job of filling a large space with sound without straining. It also means they have a gigantic sweet spot and are about the most "family-friendly" speakers out there.

I was so impressed with their performance that I bought myself a pair to replace the living room speakers, which were floor-standing Wharfedale Diamonds. I couldn't be happier with the switch.