I've owned the Sttafs
You can read a multitude of opinions about them here: http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/forum...pic.php?t=4005
If you like the signature sound of the Sttafs, I say go for them. Easy to drive, very good detail, imaging, very 'involving' speakers. They were an upgrade from the Arros, but I never was that crazy about their presentation (I later replaced them with much more neutral 560$ Ascend 340SE). If you love the way the Sttafs present music though, don't hesitate, great little speakers.
Be aware though that the room plays a big part in sound. If you have a large room, the Totems are more at home in small/medium rooms and might not be able to fill large spaces & very loud volume...
Other speakers to audition? Sure Paradigm would be good, Monitor Audio, NHT, JMLabs, Dynaudio, Magnepan, Wharfedale, Quads, Highland if you can find them, etc.. Most companies have good offerings in the Totem Sttafs price range.
My only reservation with Sttafs is that they're colored, BUT, if you love their sound, then chances are you won't be able to find it anywhere else. Plus they're probably the easiest to drive in the Totem line, so no reservation there!