Short answer, YES.
Long answer: generally, the biggest difference with a tower and bookshelves is the ability to play lower frequencies at a higher output. In a bookshelf speaker, designers are constrained due to size. In a home theater, you will usually use a dedicated sub-woofer. The sub will play the lower frequencies, and will have higher output than what the tower could offer. The sub will also allow flexible placement for better sound quality. That will leave you with $$$ to invest in a better bookshelf speaker that you would have left for a tower.
In conclusion (generally speaking), for dedicated home theater, all you need from your speakers is for them to play from 80hz to 20Khz at reference level. Most quality bookshelves will play in these frequencies at reference level. Towers don't have an advantage on these just for being towers. The consensus is that a X amount of dollars will allow you to buy better speakers that play 80hz (60hz) -20Khz (which is what you need in this setup) over something that plays 40hz - 20Khz. Usually, this end up being a bookshelf.
There are always exceptions. One that comes in mind, Pioneers FS52 at $77 (Fry's special). Arguably, at this price, there isn't a bookshelf speaker available in the market that has better sound quality in the 80hz - 20kHz frequencies.
Yamaha RX-V673 | HSU HC-1 MK2 | HSU HB-1 MK2 - LR | Pioneer SP-BS22-SLR | BIC RtR-V44-2 (Presence)