Advice for killer desktop speakers

I am looking to upgrade my desktop listening experience and could use the advice of the community. Is there anything in the same price range as the Audioengine 5+ that I should consider? The Audioengines seem to be the consensus choice, but am unsure if this is just online hype and inertia. I do not want a subwoofer and I do not have enough desk space to go any bigger than the Audioengine 5. I tried using a pair of Kef Q150 speakers paired with a Dayton Audio APA 150 amp, but the speakers are just too big for my desk.  I think i would prefer to have powered speakers for the simplicity and utilize the Dayton in another room. I  normally listen at moderate volumes and need them to sound good at relatively low levels.  Any suggestions?
You did say "killer", correct?  I put a pair of single driver speakers right in front of my desk and get amazing full range with imaging.  Merrill Zigmahornets for me but anything similar will do that has the drivers at ear height.  Don't forget to use overkill for an amp too.  At near field listening all you need is 3-5 watts.  2A3 or 300B or maybe single 6BQ5.
Here are the best speakers I have had on my desktop, in descending order;

1. Dynaudio Focus 200 XD
2. Focal Shape 50
3. Kef LS50 
4. Anthony Gallo Strada / TR2Sub 
5. AVI ADM 9.1
6. Dynaudio Xeo 4/ x14a
7. Revel M22
8. Quad 12L Active
9. Magnepan Mini

What I have learned is that good stands are absolutely critical on the desktop. The strada come with superb stands, everything else needs something like the Isoacoustics, they are well worth the money. 

Thanks everyone for the thoughtful advice and myriad options.  The comments have sent me on a tangent of considering high efficiency  SET friendly speakers for my desktop.  I was looking at the Blumenstein Marlin 3".  Has anyone heard these or anything similar  that will fit on my desktop?  Depth of the speaker cabinet seems to be a  problem for me in that i don't think it can be more than 9" and still fit on my desk.