I've owned my Kestrel Hot Rods for nearly four years. During this time I've owned both the Shearwater Hot Rods and the Kestrel 2s. The Shearwaters were in my system for most of a year and used in three different rooms.
Vaughn3d got it right, the Kestrels offer a warm, easy to listen to sound while the Shearwaters were a tad on the cool side with better detail. Another positive aspect of the Kestrels is their ease of placement. Just plop them into an expected spot and let'em rip. The Shearwaters needed to be placed at an optimal distance with concern for toe-in and vertical angle. In the positive column for the Shearwaters is their bass capability. With their cool presentation the low bass can be surprising when the program calls for it.
Both are quality speakers but the Kestrel HRs are really special to my ears. My Kestrels have spent a lot of time in the closet over the years but the last time I hooked them up the magic was still there. With quality electronics they only get better.
It is a shame the company went under.