IMO the Venere speakers were overhyped in the reviews. I had the 2.5s on extended demo, and while they were decent there were significant flaws and build quality was subpar for the price. In short, style over substance.
Sound wise there is a pronounced boost in the upper bass that I think is meant to make the speaker sound larger than it is but that resulted in bass bloat I could not get rid of regardless of placement (all Venere floorstanders seem to suffer from this -- maybe less so the monitors). Cabinets are made of very thin panels that resonate significantly when you knock on them, which probably contributes further to the bass bloat problem. The speakers are very light for their size, and the spikes and their respective holes are cheaply implemented (one of the poorly-drilled holes was stripped on my pair). The bass was limited in depth and it was not hard to push the drivers to hit their stops such that dynamics were limited, which is not good for rock or some blues. From the mids on up these sound nothing like SF's more expensive models. Where the pricier models are more refined, laid back, and tonally rich, the 2.5s are hyper detailed and thinner sounding by comparison. Mids have good tone and are neutral but not rich, and treble is detailed and forward but lacks the upper most frequencies to fully portray air and space. Soundstaging is good but lacks the depth of better speakers in this price range. Having read the 3.0 reviews and reading between the lines it sounds like they suffer the same limitations although maybe to a lesser degree.
All this being said, although the Veneres aren't bad there are much better options at similar or lower price points IMHO. For example, right now there's a nice pair of Joseph Audio RM22XLs available for $1370 that significantly better the 2.5s in every way and go as low as the 3.0s while being over $1000 cheaper used. My advice would be to take the money and run -- the 22s are awesome speakers that rarely show up on the used market for good reason (you'd probably be able to turn around and sell them for a profit if for some reason they don't work for you). If buying new I'd take the Ascend Acoustic Sierra Towers or the Silverline Prelude Plus over Veneres in a heartbeat -- and the Sierras offer an in-home trial, which is really nice. I'd also easily take the excellent Vandys you mentioned over them too although their treble is a little more laid back, which may or may not be to your liking.
Sorry if it sounds like I'm harshing on the Veneres, but to me they seem like SF experimenting in the lower-priced speaker arena with outsourced manufacturing and a different and more exciting sound and look to try to attract younger buyers. IME the results were mixed at best -- especially when compared to similarly priced competition. And the fact that they're discontinuing the Venere line after a relatively short run seems to back that up. Anyway, hope this helps and best of luck.