Magnepan MG12 would be my nomination for speakers. Maybe an Oppo DVD player as a source, and a 100 watt (or more)integrated amp to drive 'em.
I think the Vandersteens are an excellent choice at that price point, with decent, quality bass at the price and good imaging. It is the speaker I would buy if I were looking for a fairly full-range speaker in the sub$1000 category. I would stick with SS if you are looking at comparably priced amps.
I own a pair of Triangle Zerius 202, and find them stunningly good. I paid them $990 new. You can now find a pair of used Triangle Celius 202 on audiogon for $750. If they are in good conditions, that's a steal.
These speakers are very sensitive and bright...perhaps too much with an overly detailed amplifier.
I think a lot has to do with your music preference, room size, upstream components etc. I own a pair of Magnepan mg12 an couldn't be happier. (these come up here on Agon used in the $750 range...thats how I got mine. If your room is large enough, you can often find the larger 1.6 on sale for at or aroung $1k).
I just heard a pair of Klipsch RF62 Loudspeakers yesterday. We played jazz, blues and rock and this pair performed very well for $800 NEW!!! The dealer then played the RF83 and it was amazing how a $800 pair sounded comparable to a $2500 pair of speakers - The speakers were driven by Denon AVR 4308ci at the same volume, same room size. It was impressive...
consider a single driver system and a tube amp for this vocal midrange material. or a 2 way with a gentle crossover slope per driver. from what i read about single driver designs they are perfect fit. as a tubie i think it is a natural fit as midrange is superb. ss will work fine too if you prefer but tubes are great fit with vocals imo
That is a good size room, I was going to reccomend the B&W 805S but don't know how they would do in that size room. They would do very well with your music though, I think the b&w is one of the best for female vocals, that is where I call BS on a lot of speakers is in the vocals. The 805S may fit your budget but not so sure about the roome size. Another speaker I like for this music is the maggies, but again not sure about the room size versus the speaker in this price range.