As you can see, there are lots of good options in your price range. I would get a strong sub, a PB-1000 at the minimum, or maybe a step up like the PB12-Nsd, Outlaw LFM-1EX, Hsu VTf2. You don't need to match the sub to the speakers. Then, I would order a couple of pairs of speakers and listen for yourself, plus show the wife the finish on each set so she is happy. So many speaker companies allow in home trials...Emptek, Aperion, SVS, Ascend, HTD, NHT, etc. that way your ears are the final judge. Plus, it is fun. If you are near a bunch of stores, you can also listen there and see if they will let you take pair home to test drive.
Use these forums as a starting point to get suggestions for brands you might never have heard of and other advice, but it is best to listen for yourself.