check out Salk Sound - Song series
. I think they will hit your budget. Outstanding performance for the dollar. There is a thread here
on AVS dedicated to this internet direct company, that you might want to check out. Also, click the link in my sig. I auditioned quite a few speakers that would fall into your price range for a 5.1 set-up (I was looking for mains for less than $2G). Since you are in the LA area you might find some info in this thread
useful as well. After all getting out there and auditioning speakers can be a lot of fun, and is really the best way to choose them.
Good luck in your quest.