I'll agree with the suggestion of the KRK, and larger monitors in general. I also have liked Mackie monitors whenever I've used them, but I couldn't tell you which models specifically (larger units (good 8" woofers), near that kilo-buck price range (if not over)). Have never been very impressed with the M-Audio monitors. Never seen the Yamahas outside of magazines; if their passive speakers are any indication though, they should be competent.
As far as something "ahead" of them, the Emotiva makes sense, there's also the PreSonus Central Station (it has lots of features, costs a bit more). Depending on where this has to be deployed, you might also look at an AVR/SSP either as a pre-amp for the active monitors, or coupled with passive speakers - would get you room EQ and more adjustments, including bass management (we like this), as well as all of the decoding features.
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