Personally, I don't think the Monitor 70's are overly bright (silk tweeters). Not for HT use (I don't mind slightly brighter speakers for HT, over music). They seemed pretty well balanced. If you want more clarity, I think you will go over $1100 budget unless you just plan to do 2.1 for now. For music they seem ok, they get crazy loud for my usage just off my old receiver, Just got them yesterday and still breaking them in.
Just to give you an idea, 2 monitor 70's + CS2 Center + 2 Monitor 40's ran me about $585 after tax and shipping from Newegg after bing CB + coupon codes. (I live in CA). That would leave you enough cash for a nice receiver and you can add a sub later.
I'm no expert though, so wait for others to chime in.