I'm going to go back to the basics, assuming the decision to buy has not been made just yet.
Stereo or Surround Sound - Decide. If this is primarily a Music system with secondary movies, then buy a music system, and by that I mean - a Stereo. A stereo will give you the best possible quality for a fixed budget.
However, if this is primarily a movie system, and you don't mind diluting your budget, then an AV system might make sense. Though if you don't intend to use Surround Sound, it seems a bit of a waste.
Next, what is the Size of the Room? (dimensions) Generally, the bigger the room, the bigger the speakers, though it is more complex than that.
Next, believe it or not, for good full range tower speakers, you budget is pretty lean. Though for about $1000/pr
there are some fair choices out there. To get more focused on specific speaker, we would need some sense of the type of sound you want.
Polk Audio has a couple large models that fit reasonably within your budget. Though fitting your budget doesn't mean you will like them.
Excellent price on the RTi-A7 speakers. The RTi series is one above the TXi series.
Also, the Klipsch RF series. Some people don't like the Horn drivers thinking they sound too tinny or too tizzy. Myself, I like horns; in the case of the Klipsch RF the high efficiency horn really cut through the clutter. I suspect they would be very good for movie watching for just that reason.
High output - good bass.
On the issue of bass, though it doesn't always hold true, it is generally consistent; if you want to estimate the -6db response, which is still very usable sound, subtract 5hz to 8hz from the rated -3db response.
I would start with something like this, then decide later if you want to add a Center and a Sub. If you are not going to add a center and a Sub, there is little point in getting an AV Receiver. But again that depends on specifically how you will use they system.
In my case, Music is the highest priority, so I choose a music system, meaning a Stereo system, so I can concentrate my money on the best quality speakers and amps I can afford. Plus my movie watching is not really lacking. With my deepest speaker going down to 28hz at -6dB, I still get bass impact so strong I can feel the upholstery on my chair flex under the impact. During "Flags of our Fathers" I swear I could feel my hair ruffle and bullets whizzed past my head.
So, consider your Priorities and Preferences? Consider how you will use the system? Consider whether it is worth it to get an AV amp if you are not going to have Surround Sound? Though of course, you could always change you mind on the Surround Sound aspect. You might not want to start there, but eventually you may want to end up there.
Consider that bigger speaker with larger drivers are going to give more impact to the sound, but there is a limit to how big you can go in any given room. You wouldn't put big 15" 3-way speakers into a small bedroom. Though there is great deal of flexibility there.
What I am encouraging, is that you think long and hard about what it is you want to achieve in the end. Myself, I'm perfectly content to watch movies in stereo. While at the same time understanding the encompassing enveloping sense that comer from Surround Sound. I just don't presonally think it is worth diluting my equipment to get it. When I win the Lottery, then I'll consider Surround Sound. When I can do it up right. Still that is just me. I use myself as an example of how my priorities guided my decisions. But, for yourself, you'll have to make your own decision.