Speakers for HT/2 channel

Broad question, but if you were buying a speaker setup, 7.1, for HT only what would you buy. Using Integra 9.8 pre/pro with cary amps. Stereo quality not important as I have a dedicated system. Room approx. 17x14 with 12 foot ceilings. Would likely buy preowned. Budget $8000 total.
This is obviously highly subjective, but I would go for an old Revel Performa series...not the 52 but the 50 series...I put this system together for my dad...we picked up the C50 and F50 speakers for a total around $2800...they are incredible for that kind of money...add M20's for surround...in your room you might want the smaller 30 series up front or the new 32 series...he drives his with an Arcam receiver.

Lastly, I use Usher Be-718's to great effect, but I am only using 2 channel to watch movies...they do a great job with music as well as HT...you would need a high powered amp...not sure what Cary amps you are talking about.

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I'm interested in the active speakers, especially ATC, but I don't find much about them. I see there is only one US distribution center. Where do you guys find out more about these interesting units?
I think ATC would be an excellent choice. I've found ATC's midrange to be extremely clear, accurate, and powerful, which makes it an outstanding performer for HT purposes. About 10 years ago I heard their 100s along with their center channel speaker and it's still among the best HT experiences I've had. Best of luck.
I use a 9.8 into a Butler to run a set of the Von Schweikert VR2s for mains, the LCR15 as a center, their sub (single) and a pair of the 150s for surrounds. They are efficient, fast, detailed and quite musical. Very good with movies and TV events.

It can blow the windows out of a room bigger and higher then yours in a very refined and non fatiguing way.

For more bang in the line (and what's nice is that it was all designed to play together) I would put VR4jrs in the front (thus improving bass, pressure and 2 channel), move the VR2s to the rear and add another sub along the back or side wall.

VSA no longer builds them but there are a ton around used and a few dealer demos and closeouts are still around. It's a lot of sound for the money - well under your budget.
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All the ATC designs from the 20 on up sound alike - so if you don't like one you've heard then don't waste more time. They are great for crystal clear dialog even with loads of stuff going on. Dynamics and loudness whilst maintaining low distortion levels is what tends to differentiate them from others - so you'll squeeze quite a bit more excitement from a dynamic movie soundtrack than usual. I suspect you could do passive 20's all around and a JL F113 sub - all used for something close to your target price. The ATC 15" sub is roughly three times the cost of a JL F113 and would definitely be overkill if this is not your main system. You'll definitely need to find a really tight (low Q sealed box) sub if you go with those speakers though or it will probably end up as a dogs breakfast.