The list of speakers that were so bad I could eliminate them in a showroom is so long it would not fit on this page. Price not withstanding. Instead let me mention a few that were at least listenable. If I lived in NY, maybe I could hear a wider selection, but between the DC, Richmond and Piedmont area not so many.
On the way-above-what-I could-pay, the newest Wilsons have gotten much better. The big Sonas Fabers, big Maggies, big Martin Logans I could live with, but I am limited to stand mount and an income not in the top 1/2%. They all still have severe shortcomings. If one was "right" everyone would copy it and they would all sound the same. Even price-no-object, they sound very different. If two are different, at least one is wrong.
Dropping down to what semi-normal audiophile people can buy, The Mofi 8 was not too bad. 2Ce's continue to fill the "do no wrong" slot. I want to hear the mid-tier Sonas Fabers but no one has them. Same, upper end Dunaudio I would like to hear.
Moving down to entry, the SF Lumina's were nice. Revel's are at least balanced, but the tweeters get to me.
At the level higher than 99% of the market who just buy a Wal-Mart sound bar or Bose system, the Elac 2.1s are better than I could build for the price. I have a pair, slightly modified, in my woodshop.
A lot of speakers may be better if the showrooms had any eq as they are so bright it they make my fillings hurt. ( Hear that B&W, Paradigm, Canton!) I still have never heard ANY hard dome I could tolerate and the new AMTs are even worse. A few ribbons are OK at nearfield low level, but horrible otherwise. Basically can't stand horns, but I wish I could have heard a Geddes.
If there was any speaker that was the biggest disservice to High Fidelity, it was the Bose 901. Singularly one of the worst speakers I ever heard. Diffuse sound yea, but mushy ill-defined bass, honky mids and no highs. The 301 was a much better speaker. Bad eq aside, their mids were relatively low distortion.