Thiel 2.4s. Bought used, this is a best buy within your budget, and will play acoustic music and vocals to their fullest potential. Look for a demo pair from a dealer if possible, to obtain the full warranty. They will require good electronics, but you could build your whole system around them.
The Hyperion 938 - 4k retail but can be gotten from most dealers for 2995 or so. They blow away most anything in the 5-7K range.
Perhaps a used pair of Soliloquy 6.5
I normally don't post about speakers due to somewhat limited experience but I go along with Clbeanz. With your room size the Soliloquy could be one to check up on. You can check my virtual system to see the 6.3 in place. Website is here Soliloquy
Beautiful to the eye and the ear. Really seems to give a good soundstage with good bass.
Totem's are pretty traditional looking. Cabinets are excellent, the sound great, and are pretty compact. I think the Hawks are in that range
If you are building a system, maybe start with 2 channel and work your way up. Working with 2500 I would suggest looking into NAD, Rotel, and Arcam. These are great receivers for the price and will drive almost anything. For front floor standing speakers I recommend Paradigm Monitor 11 (not 9), Reference 60 or 100 depending on budget. It takes some hunting but also look at B&W if you want nice detail (to some they are bright) Dynaudio because of their oversized voice coils (awesome for vocals, jazz, classical, acoustic) Revel F30,F32, or Vandersteen 2Ce or newer. I am sure that you can create a killer 2 channel set up with 2500 looking at those brands. Good luck and have fun!
Might want to check my vintage B&W DM6 for sale in Au'gon.
Used pair of Von Schweikert VR4Jr's.
Not bad looking. Short. Simple.
Dynamics of a moving army and plenty of elegance in the mids and highs.
Bargain at $2950 listed here on Audiogon.
This may cause some rebuttal and that's okay. I believe that speakers should be your last purchase, not your first. Buy your equipment first, get quality stuff that sounds synergistically good together, is easy to use (if that's inportant to you), has a history of reliability and has all the bells/whistles/power that you want. Spend down to your $2500 plus cables (people have different formulas for cable spending, mine is about 15% +/- of the total value of the rest of the system). I'm a firm believer that good speakers driven by average sources and amplification can only sound average at best. However, high quality components will make pretty good speakers sound their best. Speakers can only relay the signal provided to them, the better the source and signal, the better the sound. Just my opinion, it's your money. Good luck and have fun.
There are a pair of Audio Note speakers in your price range on A-gon. These are excellent speakers particularly for the type of music you describe and are about as traditional looking as you can get.
PS I have nothing to do with the seller
I second the Soliloquy's, including the 5.31's Also, Von Sweirkert VR2's fit your budget and criteria.
Try the Spendor Classic line. These are all shaped like "bookshelf" speakers though the larger ones in the line are big enough to be used as floorstanders. The SP2/3 is quite a nice speaker. You would probably want to put them on the recomended Sound Anchor stands or some other sturdy stand. Read Brothers in Charleston SC has helped me in the past with these speakers (good advice and fair prices on new ones).
I'll suggest Spendors as well. When I started my speaker search I was *told* that only traditional looking speakers would be allowed in our living room. I ended up selecting a pair of Spendor SP 1/2s with Sound Anchors and I think their retro-look is very cool.
In addition, Spendors are an excellent choice for the types of music that you enjoy, especially vocals.
Harbeth compact 7s. I challenge you to find a single bad word written about them, and they look really nice and a little bit retro.
I second the Harbeths, having owned the 2nd pair of HL7ES mkII in the US, I can vouge for their musicality and build. These are beautiful handcrafted works of art.
I second the Hyperion HP 938's, They are great!!
Check them out http://www.hyperionsound.com/index.htm
Best I have heard so far.
Spendor, Harbeth, B/W, McIntosh, Galante, Audio Note...so many good looking box speakers in that price range. The Spendor classis models have a wonderful cabinet construction and are gorgeous. I owned a pair of 2/3 in cherrywood; beautiful sound. I should have kept those but sold them as they did not work well enough with a SET 8 watt amp. With a Levinson 27.5 they were marvelous.