Dynaudio C1's gets my vote.
Disclaimer I own C1's
Disclaimer I own C1's
Dynaudio monitors are crap for the money. If the Caravelles up for sale aren't sold yet buy them. They are the best monitor I have ever heard and I enjoyed the for years before I went back to my MAXX 2's only because I wanted more low end heft for classical. I listened to the Dynaudio at a local store when I owned my Caravelles and laughed all the way home! Very over priced for the sound they put out.
If I were you would purchase the biggest Wilson speakers I could afford to test your girlfriend's patience. All aside I was able to listen to the new B&W 805Ds @ $5,000 Retail. and they were great. Another great choice if money is no oject and I really liked them were the Magico Mini IIs(Another Girlfriend test). The Wilson Duetts have always sounded great every time I listened to them at the RMAF, which will sound even better in your home once you put time into set up.
If you want something really transparent, the High Emotion Audio Bella Twins will do the job. They need to be about 1 to 1.5 feet from the rear wall and are very honest to 36 Hz.
But they are more detailed than the Wilsons, faster, yet very relaxed at the same time. The cabinets are extremely dead so this is one of the most uncolored speakers that money can buy, short of the low frequency cutoff. I hate to say it, but most of the speakers mentioned on this thread don't challenge it- the new patented tweeter technology these guys have really is a breakthrough!
It doesn't seem unreasonable for partners to compromise on the decor in a shared living space, if both parties are contributing to decoration and upkeep of that space. "Suggestions" about changing conspicuous gear might be a red flag, but needn't be, depending on what other compromises are being made. (My GF is admirably tolerant about gear; not inappropriately, since I do the bulk of domestic labor.) Rhapsd's business, what he can live with; always mysterious, from the outside.
I recently auditioned the Dyn C1's. Getting a lot of thump out a tiny box seems to be a central design emphasis; the result may or may not engage you. Goes without saying there's a lot of options at that price point. (Also auditioned the Saphires, which sound nice, and are easy on the eye, but again, lots of options for the price [16k].)
Don't know the Duette's, but Theo's suggestion of sticking with the Wilson sound makes sense. Don't know if they can be had for 5k (pair now listed here at 7100), but maybe that's a point *she* can compromise on!
Northcreek (Lee Taylor cabinets) makes very attractive speakers that are designed for near wall in smaller spaces. I have their Eskas (see my system page); the new Big Kat looks like a lot of speaker for less than 5k (with professionally built boxes with custom veneer). Very high GFAF, I'd say.
I owned the Sophia 2's and the Duette's. They are both excellent speakers. The Duettes put out a very impressive low end. One thing to bear in mind is that the Duettes are rear ported and prefer positioning a few feet out into the room. Also note that the Duettes are still fairly large and heavy and with their custom stands use up almost the same space as the Sophia's but are not quite as visually dominant.