Originally Posted by CaliCool
I'm leaning towards Definitive Tech and Mirage.. Upgrading to 7.1 someday is important to me, or even 6.1.
Honestly, and I know I'll catch hell for posting this (I'm also quite certain some crusader will "enlighten" me with the intellex.us link that "absolutely proves" why Bose is faulty (and quite comically, it's the only evidence ever provided to substantiate the claim; any other brand and a single bad review would be shrugged off)), you really aren't going to have "tons" of difference between Bose, Mirage, and any other solution that relies on very small satellites and a small to medium sized subwoofer, including HTIB packages (and before the whole "it's not a subwoofer" thing starts - if we want to play that game, any other subwoofer that doesn't hit 20hz isn't a subwoofer either, and that just removed probably a solid half of the entire retail market in one pass, including probably every HTIB subwoofer yet made and most anything that will fit into the proposed budget and leave any money left for speakers). They (the satellites) will all roll-off at around 200hz-250hz, and none of them will completely replace the same effect that you'll get from a large speaker. Sure, you might get a more accurate small speaker from another manufacturer, but at the end of the day you're still wrestling with physics. Bose and Mirage are fairly up-front about that, and each attempt to compensate in their own way. Both represent compromises.
If you like the Bose equipment, buy it. It is not the best equipment ever made, but among small-satellite package systems designed to "blend" into the surrounding room, it's probably among the better options (especially within the price range), alongside Mirage, the Klipsch Quintet, and perhaps some more expensive and larger speakers from other makers.
I find it quite ironic that if it were any other brand (and it really could be any other brand), you'd just be told to get whatever suits you, but when it's Bose - there's always "some system that destroys/obliterates/annihlates/decimates/defeats/beats/bests it for half/quarter/tenth/hundredth/millionth the money in every/all/any way(s)". Simply can't be true (it just logically doesn't hold up, especially when most of the components suggested usually have similar sized drivers or similar response abilities). The point I'm trying to make is, there is no absolute best.
I'm not promoting Bose, I'm just saying that if you want to consider it as an option, there's nothing wrong there. If someone tells you it's bad or that you're supposed to think it's bad, why should that change what you do or don't like? If you test out other equipment before buying it (which you should be doing as an educated consumer, and quite ironically, Bose's marketing even encourages you to do) and find something else you like for less money or that performs better, buy that something else. That's a no-brainer. I would say the same thing about any other brand. Again, there is no absolute best (especially in your price range, which is crowded with options (that works to your advantage)).
Given that you're located in a foreign region (relative to me), and that I have no idea what availability or prices are like in your area, I cannot give you very directed advice. Some things I would suggest looking at, within your $1000 budget, include the new Pioneer speakers (you should be able to assemble a 5.1 system within $1000), the Polk Monitor series, the Klipsch Synergy, Quintet, and perhaps the lower priced Reference models, the Yamaha EF and some of the higher end/larger NS-F components (avoid the speakers that look like they belong in an HTIB and cost more than your receiver though), and any other brand that fits into that price range that is available there (Wharfedale? Monitor Audio? Axiom? Sony? Energy? Definitive? etc).
Within $1000, you should have plenty of options, and you should have no problems purchasing a pair of floor-standing speakers as your front/main L/R if you so desire. I probably wouldn't be too gung-ho about needing floor-standers, if you can purchase a quality subwoofer instead, and two or three pairs of decent bookshelves (which will get you 6.1 (which is honestly going to be very nearly the same effect as 7.1 for the majority of content (that is, 5.1)). With an all-bookshelf + subwoofer system, you should have a very nice surround sound and stereo experience, and it should be fairly easy to set-up. I'm guessing that aesthetics is a factor, since Bose and other small speakers are being considered.
I'd look around, don't settle on a single brand or solution based on a single point of data - go and play with the components you're considering when possible. Find reviews. Look up a given product online, see if you can find reasonable pros/cons. You can pretty much do as much or as little research as you want, as it very likely costs you nothing or next to nothing. We can all sit here and tell you that XYZ is the best speaker ever made, and you may go test it out, only to realize it's absolute garbage, and that we're all being paid by XYZ Inc to promote that speaker.
If you let us know what you have available, we can probably help filter your options somewhat, but ultimately it's your money, your choice, and your equipment to live with. If you're not happy, don't buy it - who cares if we're happy.