I'm driving my SR-17s with a custom rebuilt NYAL Moscode 300 by Steve Sank (http://www.thuntek.net/~bk11/home.htm) which came in at exactly your price point, but with a PERFORMANCE point easily 3 times that level. I bought the 300 for $500, shipped it to Steve, and viola - music magic on a shoestring (well, possibly a fairly expensive "shoestring", but for the sound!) 150 watts per channel is plenty-o-power for the 17's, even at low levels everything is there (although I did find stands and positioning of the speakers affects this enormously, but I suppose that caveat is probably a given for anything audio...) Maybe I was lucky, maybe Steve is just a run-of-the-mill genius, but whatever the cause, I would not hesitate to try the rebuild route with an older piece of gear again.
The thing I like about the 17 is it doesn't "do" anything to the sound - whatever goes in is what comes out. I've had them on a $150 Kenwood integrated (ooooh that was ugly!), a NAD integrated (instant illustration of the SS vs tube sound, if a bit of a price mis-match), QuickSilver monoblocs (a short loaner period), and the Moscode (plus a demo at the dealer on both CJ and ARC amplification), and each setup showed the upstream for exactly what it was. The QuickSilvers were very nice, and I almost went that route, but I already had the 300 (this was pre-mod) - so I went the rebuild route. My point here is that you have to decide what sound you want, and pick your amp from there, because whatever you put in front is what the SR-17 is going to present to you.
That said, I can give you 3 options I have heard, in my order of preference - obviously, the rebuilt Moscode is number one. The demo with a CJ amp (sorry, it was more than a year ago now, so memory fails as to which it was) proved that a sympathetic combo, a bit warmer than the NYAL, but very musical. I liked the QS monos, but thought they were a bit less detailed than either the CJ or the Moscode. A quick scan of the A-gon classifieds presents a few alternatives I personally would investigate if shopping now: Airtight MA1-OTLs at $2750, CH Premier 11a at $1700, a pair of Blue Circle BC2 monos at $2000, or the Cary CAD-300 SE LX-20 monos at $2850. These latter selections are just things I'd like to hear on the 17's, but I think all have justly earned reputations for excellent sound. And I must admit to a quite eccentric predilection against ARC gear - it's fine gear, I just have my own view on its relative price/performance ratio. I have the opposite reaction to Cary gear - every piece I have heard has been a joy, but I would completely understand and fully respect someone who utterly contradicts these opinions!
Anyway, I envy you the search - it's the second best part of this hobby. The best part is when you put on your favorite disc and hear what a great job you did selecting the components!