If I were looking in that kind of price range, I would also look at some "unconventional" speakers, particularly the high efficiency speakers that can deliver dynamic and lively sound, even when played at quite low levels. Many horn and other high efficiency speakers that can deliver great dynamics have tonal balances that are way off from conventional sound, so taste/tolerance is a BIG issue. But, some are not so extremely colored. Maybe they are not for you, but, you should at least listen to a few of them. I would recommend listening to the following:
Horning Eufrodite--a three way system that utilizes a Lowther driver as only a midrange (does not suffer from the "honky" coloration that plagues Lowther systems using the driver full range.
Classic Audio T-1.4--a large speaker system that utilizes field coil drivers. Nicely balanced sound, great dynamics, and very easy to drive.
Surreal Sound Fifth Row--a new speaker, from a new company, that utilizes a full-range Tangband driver as a midrange/tweeter and multiple low range drivers to deliver incredibly tight and powerful bass and very fast and dynamic mid frequencies from the full range driver.
A somewhat more conventional speaker that is reasonably efficient and quite nice sounding is the DeVore Orangutan. It delivers a lot of the immediacy and vividness of high efficiency speakers, while being reasonably balanced tonally.
And now, for something completely different--YG Acoustic Carmel. While I usually like the diametric opposite of modern speakers (too lean and brittle sounding for my taste), the realistic tonal balance and depiction of harmonic structure that I heard with the Carmels did impress me. I had some issues with the somewhat lean, ultra detailed, and "dry" sound (not as harmonically saturated and dense sounding as old school speakers), but, their strengths at least have made me interested in the brand.