You mention HT speakers, but I'm going to recommend good speakers that can be used for either theater or music.
PSB Imagine B and C (MSRP $1,199 for B's and $849 for C) or PSB Image T6 and C5 ($1,298 and $399 respectively)
Definitive Technology SM65 and CS-8060HD (MSRP $899 for the SM65 and $699 for the 8060HD)
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1, used for L/C/R, (MSRP $1,258 and up depending on finish, that's for all 3)
Monitor Audio RX6 and RX Center, MSRP over budget but street price for all three is frequently under $2k from authorized dealers.
Peachtree Audio D5, sold in pairs only, $999 pr. Sell or store the 4th speaker and use the remaining as LCR.
Retail products of course may have some flexibility in prices, so just the MSRP's were given.
If only looking at HT, check out eD(C)12
they will need good subs as they are designed with little response down low. This shouldn't be an issue as a sub is pretty much required for HT anyway.
These are of course just my opinions/taste. There is no substitute for hearing/judging on your own.