I second the Energy v-mini. I recently went through the "downgrading from towers to appease the wife" scenario. When paired with a sub, the speakers do perform quite well. When playing music using just 2 v-minis and a sub, they sound very clear and exact. Like any small speakers they do have limitations. They perform very well playing jazz (ie. Dianna Krall) but they don't quite suit a harder rock sound (ie. Soundgarden).
As for home theater useage, I currently have two v-mini fronts, a v-mini cc center, two v-mini surrounds and an older Sound Dynamics subwoofer. My space is a little bigger than yours and I sit about 14 feet away from the TV. Once I got my amp setup correctly I can honestly say that I am amazed with the sound coming out of these small speakers. The speakers fill the room with sound and the center speaker does a wonderful job. The speakers are great for what they are: compact bookshelf speakers.
Now for the important factor: wife approval. The speakers blend into the dark brown furniture that I have. They easily fit on a shelf and do not draw attention to themselves with the grill on. Without the grill they also look very nice albeit noticable. My wife hated the previous towers that I had and she originally gave me a hard time for spending money on new speakers. She quickly changed her mind when she saw them and heard them.
Overall, the v-minis are a great compact speaker that are definately a big step up from most satellite systems. Sorry for the lengthy review but it's tough to find reviews on these speakers as they were only released in September.