Small room, "budget priced" speaker advice, please


I recently sold my dearly beloved, old Vandersteen 2C's here on Audiogon (and I hope SgtPeppers is loving them at this moment!) :-) I did this because in our remodeled house, my new listening room (which will double as a guest room) is just too small for the 2C's. The Spousal Acceptance Factor was just too low. ;-)

I have a PS Audio Elite-Plus integrated amp for power (around 70 W/Ch) and a soon-to-be-shipped-off-for-a-refurb Sota Sapphire for an analog front end (I have "miles" of vinyl)! I will also get a CD player at some point.

For now, I need to find a pair of best-of-breed, truly "budget" speakers. By "budget," I'm talking upper limit of $850/pair. (Gone are my free-spending, single days... I'm a dad now...) :-)

Listening habits: lots of 60's and 70's folk and rock, some jazz, Donald Fagen/Steely Dan, a little classical. Listening volume: not too loud. Sonic preferences: I value transparency and imaging/soundstage. Bass should be accurate above all, as opposed to chest-pounding powerful.

I've looked at Paradigms, which I know are highly regarded at lower price points. Trouble is, our one, local dealer is primarily a TV/home theater outfit, so you're trying to hear them in a showroom crammed with other stuff... you know the drill. I've also hit a high end shop. Listened to a pair of PSB small towers and disliked them; they sounded muddy and veiled to me. Listened to a pair of the smallest Rega's and liked them quite a bit, but would want to go back to listen again. I even wrote to PS Audio for advice; they recommended the "baby" Epos monitors, but they're out of my price range.

Thanks if you've read this far. Knowing how subjective all this is, I'd still welcome any advice you have to offer about what I should try to audition.
Rebbi, May I suggest to you that since you have fairly easy accessibility to the majority of these speakers, you might want to try a couple of pairs in the room that you'll be listening.

In most cases, these stores will have a day in which they're closed. They should let you bring a pair home for that day/evening. You may be surprised as to the characteristics of these speakers utilizing YOUR power, YOUR amplification, and YOUR listening environment. That would probably provide the most accurate indicator of their performance in "real world" usage.

I think this is a great suggestion. I guess I really ought to wait until my turntable is back from being refurbished, then I can do some serious listening in my own room, if some of the local dealers are willing to lend me samples overnight.
I read a whole bunch of reviews of the Silverline Minuets online, and they are uniformly extraordinarily positive, especially given the size and price of those speakers. I'm very interested in getting to hear them, if I can, but I can't find a dealer list anywhere, and nobody here in Austin seems to carry them. Does anybody know of a dealer in Central Texas who might have them, or if Silverline themselves sells them direct?
I heard from Silverline. They'll sell to me direct, and they recommend the Preludes over the Minuets in my system. Hmmm....