I just went through this myself, with a very similar budget. (Mine was 1,000 for speakers, and just as I started shopping my existing receiver died, so i had to scrounge an extra 500 for a total of 1500 for 5 speakers and receiver.)
After reading reviews, dozens of threads, and getting advice from the gurus here, I settled on the HTD Level 2 speakers and a refurb Marantz receiver. Set me back right under 1400.00. The importance of matching my L/R fronts and center was stressed, so I shopped with that in mind. (I initially looked at some compact satellite systems, but being the room is not small, and I like BIG sound, so towers made more sense for my fronts...)
Good luck in your quest! I'll have my theater completed in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully then I can post some pics and a review of the gear I decided on. Happy hunting!