The Emotiva looks like it could be good. One thing to like about it is definitely the pre-outs. However there are other similarly priced receivers with pre-outs as well. The Hsu speakers are good ones, and everything I have heard about the Ascends sounds good too. I doubt you will need a separate amplifier for either. As for the VTF2 vs the VTF3, the VTF3 has roughly a 3 dB output advantage over the VTF2, which is 50% louder, so a 30% increase in subwoofer budget nets you 50% more performance, and that seems like a good deal to me. Note the VTF3's deep bass advantage is greater than 50% headroom advantage. Also note that the VTF15h offers double the performance of the VTF3, or a 100% performance increase, for 80% greater cost. It seems to me that the best performance/cost ratio belongs to the VTF3.
If you want a future proofed setup, one thing to keep in mind is the new Dolby Atmos enabled receivers
which were announced recently. Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo will be coming out with Atmos receivers. One thing to consider with Atmos is the need for ceiling speakers. As I noted recently
, Hsu's speakers are ideally positioned for an Atmos system due to their in-wall speakers
which look like they would function very well for in-ceilings for an Atmos system due to the properties of their speakers. The new Atmos systems support either two or four over-head channels, depending on AVR model. One thing you will not
want with an Atmos system is bipole or dipole type surround speakers. Another thing to keep in mind about systems with built in Atmos is they will all have HDMI 2.0 specs, unlike the Emotiva which has 1.4. HDMI 2.0 supports 4k 3d and 4k at 60 FPS, two very nice features. The receivers with built in Atmos will come out in August and September.
Also, regarding the Ascend CMT340s, you do not need a mount for those, they are essentially bookshelf speakers, just large ones.