Commsysman and gtpsuper24 - Thank you for the input. I'll check these out. It would be nice if there was a place around here where I could listen to some of these. There is one mid-to high end audio store around here that I am aware of. The couple times I have been there they were completely out of my price range. This is what they carry:
On my TV stand I have about 6.25-6.5" on either side of the TV to the start of the bevel at the edge of the stand. I'll have to figure a way to get a book shelf on there. Perhaps I can make feet or something. I'll attempt to load photos of the area for easier reference.
I was a little surprised to have a couple of you mention center channels. I assumed that would mainly be used if I was trying to do a 5.1 or some other surround configuration. I assumed if not going for full surround it was more common to use just the fronts. Is that not the case? Which mode would I use on the receiver? I'd have to get something fairly small to sit in front of the tv.
My budget is a little fluid... I'd say I could swing somewhere between $500 and 1000 for everything. Would like to keep around $800 if I could. That would cover the bookshelf speakers, center channel (if I add that), receiver and sub (if needed).
I would much prefer, up here at house level, a wood grain finish...probably a rosewood or cherry or something. I have flat black in my basement. I wish I had gone different there as well.
As for the receiver, I've gone back and forth on this a bit. I guess I could get something which is just stereo. I could get something a little better and either use it in this room or swap out with the one I have in my theater in the basement (Onkyo TX-DS575). I don't use it anywhere as much but it is set up for 5.1. Down there I have Polk RT2000 fronts, CS400 center, polk surrrounds (don't remember the model) and a Velodyne DLS sub. I've seen some Pioneer Elites for $200-400 range used, depending on the age. I found a VSX84TXSi for $400. Seems like a good deal, but would eat up a good amount of the budget. It seems like I can get my hands on Denon used as well.