If you want great sound in areas, adjustability to any room to get that great sound, VMPS 626Rs (monitors) with auricaps and sound deadening. VMPS RM30s, or VMPS RM40s (both of these are floor standing). All have a similar sound, transparent, lively, great detail across all frequencies, capable of tailoring the sound to any position and room, and very dynamic. If you are a bass freak, the 626s might need a sub and the VMPS's are known for their outstanding bass (subs too). They could each be had for your price range. The 40's would definitely have to be at used prices, however. You could get the 626's with a sub and be in the range.
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I've heard the Polks in a store once, so I can't really comment on them one way or the other. Having said that, The price range you're talking about is exactly what a pair of Focal 836v floorstanding speakers cost. I've owned mine for about a little over 6 months and love them more than the day I brought them home. I've heard speakers that sounded both "different" and "better", but the "better" was always either a much more expensive speaker or much better supporting equipment than I have. Try to find a place to listen to a pair and see if you don't like them.
I too owned and loved the LSi15s for quite some time. I now own the Boston Acoustics E-100 and love them but if I were looking for something that would take all of the strengths of the 15s and improve upon them now I would get the Goldenear Triton 2s.
Like you, I enjoyed my LSi 15s for about 5 years and didn't feel any real need to upgrade until recently. What I liked most about the polks was their smooth tweeter, precise imaging, and musical midrange. What I ultimately found a bit lacking was their lower end, which always seemed a bit muddy and unnatural to my ears. I also found myself looking for a pair of speakers that were a bit more resolving of low-level detail.
I auditioned a lot of speakers and wasn't able to find any that struck me as a huge improvement over the polks in the $3-4K range. There were several brands that I enjoyed in the $8K+ range but that wasn't an option for me. What I ended up with was a bit of a compromise, the Usher Be-718. The Usher's highs and midrange are really special to my ears, definitely more resolving than the LSi 15s. Even though the Ushers are two-way monitors, their lower end sounds very natural to me and they play deep enough for much of the music I enjoy. I plan to supplement them with a sub as budget allows.
Your experience may differ, of course, but since you're not in a hurry to upgrade right now i'd suggest making a list of the qualities that you most and least like about your polks and then auditioning as many candidates as you can. That's part of the fun afterall.
My previous speakers were Infinity IL-50s and I always considered them to be excellent in the mid/vocal range. I think now I'd describe them compared to my Focals as lacking detail in the highs and punch in the lows. It's interesting to me how a completely different sound changes ones idea of what they like. I'd suggest being open to all available options even if they are not known for a particular aspect like the midrange.
Having said that, you may night like the sound of the Focals as their tweeters are not necessarily smooth and seem to be a polar characteristic for listeners.
When I was trying to figure out which speakers to purchase I took in my "low rider" CD that is an excellent recording but has truly deep and powerful bass line. I wanted to see how the Focal 836v compared to my Infinity's that had built in powered 10 inch subwoofers. As expected, the bass line wasn't as strong, but I was so taken with how wonderful it sounded overall I almost forgot to notice the lack of bottom end. Now, it's one of the few recordings that I use a subwoofer because it's just more fun with the added punch, but really sound fine without it.
Don't exclude any speaker without taking the chance to listen to it if you had an opportunity. I didn't listen to nearly as many speakers as I could have and so far have not found anything I like better, but I may have been a little lucky in my nearly impulse decision on what to purchase. Sometimes you just know when you like something and for me it was my Focals.
The BOSE 901 series 6 with a behringer DEQ2496 will give you a larger sound display than the LSI15's. With the behringer equalizer these bose 901's can go toe to toe with some of the BEST speakers on the market ! http://www.epinions.com/content_105506836100 and http://www.epinions.com/content_4143423620
+1 for the GoldenEar Triton 2's. I just heard them at a factory demo at my local high end store's annual mfr's open house. If you like Polk and/or Definitive Technology, GoldenEar's the place to go, because the CEO/chief designer is Sandy Gross, who was the designer behind Polk until he has hired away by Def Tech.
Anyway, the Triton 2's are a great solution. 18-35Khz response curve (built-in 1200w amp to power woofers), transparent, linear, not too big, but good nuance and tremendous dynamic range. I'm starting to think about them myself and I wasn't in the market for speakers. They retail at $2500/pair.