Best speakers for $500 or less

I have a friend who wants to get a good pair of speakers for $500 or less, and was looking at Bose. I cringed. Though Bose does make some OK speakers for a very small size, I thought there is probably something better out there and I would turn to all the good Audiogoner's to help! My friend listens to a mix of 2-channel and TV/movies, and is looking to get two speakers now and expand later. What would you suggest???
I second the PSB and Paradigm. If you live near a Best Buy you might check out the Athena line of speakers. I believe they are either the sister company of Sound Dynamics and/or the new renamed company. A lot of bang for the buck with Canadian made speakers.
You may want to check into Axiom M3ti or M22ti, Ascend Acoustics CBM 170 for monitors (both have an in home trial period so you're only out return shipping if you don't like them). As stated above, the Magnepan MMG is a larger size and slightly out of your budget new ($550), but these also come with an in home trial as well. IMHO, the MMGs are an exceptional value around this price point.
Purchased a pair of Vandersteen 1Bs for my son last year for $200. Obscenely good for the money, even with an inexpensive integrated amp and run of the mill CD player. Natural and unforced presentation with great frequency extension and smoothness. Efficient and an easy load, play quite loudly when necessary. Beguiling with voices in particular.
New-the best B&W he is prepaired to pay for within the $500 limit; used-so many choices,probably hundreds of them. Steer clear from cheap Canadian speakers, not worth it.Your friend may also want to audition some Polk and Cambridge Sound Works speakers, they can be good value.