To the OP-
It's good to be thinking ahead and all, but infrastructure is where your head should be for the moment. If you plan to live in your townhome for a while, do your very best now to prepare for 10 years from now. Run lots of cable, fiber, conduit, etc. It's good to start wrapping your head around hardware now. But remember that a new feature rich & cost effective system could be realesed by the time you move in.
All that said. If you had to buy the system today, I'd heavily recommend Crestron's Prodigy line. I've programmed a few systems to date (in Simpl Windows). They work fantastic, and carry Crestron's reliability and robustness. I'd imagine it'd fit nicely in your budget. It's in the same price range as C4.