For $168, you can get swan m200 - the best computer speaker I found. Google search it for the best price.
If you want bass, then go for the Klipsch 2.1 computer speaker at less than $200.
If you are looking for a small all in one setup, the Bose one for $299 is pretty loud sounding one - will fill a small room. Bose is not that bad - just over priced, no?
We audiophiles loved to hate Bose for their hype and their price, but they are at least better than entry level stuff from Japan at BB, CC, or GG. I am not gonna defend Bose - I will be dead in a few hours in this forum - but as far as the Ipod docking system goes, Bose goes a lot louder than altec, and looks sleek too.
Try to hear it at Goodguys if you are near one.
But the champion is Zvoxaudio at half the price. You can hook up varius sources to it - unlike Bose which can only be used with an ipod.
Zvox 315 got a good review too - http://www.zvoxaudio.com/
So here are the choices :
swan m200 (book shelf with bigger woofer) ($168)
Klipsch 2.1 (for bass and transparent bright highs) ($180)
Bose ($299 - as usual, over priced)
Many other powered monitors for more money.
If you really want to get good sound, get a receiver and quality speakers - on a hifi shows, a famous speaker maker demonstrated that you can get good sounds from an Ipod - with parasound amps, and their speakers.