BTW, just a few comments on the high vs lower sensitivity for higher volumes:
a) I agree, once you get to the $3k-$5k pricepoint, higher sensitivity speakers DO NOT mean less musical ability
b) Higher sensitivity speakers tend to be good with dynamics because it takes much less power to do so
c) Easier load on the amplification
Some simple stats to consider:
It takes ~2X the power for a 3db increase
It takes ~10X the power for a 10db increase
A 10db increase is perceptually about 2X as loud
You lose ~6db per doubling of distance
You gain 3db for each doubling of the # of speakers
There is room gain and boundary gain. Boundary gain affects the lowest octaves most and varies on the design of the speaker (di/bipole, rear ported etc have greater gains). Room gain is higher with smaller rooms and decreases with bigger rooms and/or more acoustic treatment and absorbent surfaces (wall hangings, heavy drapes etc).
THX specs call for EACH satellite to be able to hit 105db at the listening positions (and the subs to hit 115db).
With that said, for a placement 4 feet away from the walls, an 89db/w/m speaker needs 358 watts with zero amp headroom to hit THX Reference levels at an MLP 10 feet away from the speakers. It's usually a good idea to have some amp headroom so you don't have to push the amp to it's limits to hit the maximum SPLs you might encounter without distortion or clipping. If you want 3db of headroom, you now need 716 watts.
A 95db/w/m needs 90 watts to do the same when placed in the same positions. 180watts with 3db of amplifier headroom.
How many 89db speakers do you know of that have a power handling rating of 358 watts much less 716 watts?
Just about every 95db speaker in the $3-5k range can easily handle 180watts.
Just a little extra to consider.
As far as music goes, the kind of music will also matter. A lot of pop music had heavy compression so transient peaks don't 'swing' as much as some other types of music. Classical on the other hand can exhibit swings of 30db or more between the softest passages and loudest sections. In the WI GTG, Jim Salk theorized that this is what happened with the reports of a 'blown midrange' that was later tested to be fine. The lower sensitivity Soundscapes potentially pushed the amp into distortion/clipping on one channel. He went on to comment that in a test performed (at RMAF?) a speaker that was hooked up with both an rms and peak meter showed something interesting: IIRC, while playing music the rms meter averaged around 5-8watts, but the peak meter showed transient spikes to 250watts at those rms averages.
For the OP, these might be an option to consider:http://www.legacyaudio.com/products/view/signature-se/
Seem to be getting pretty good reviews, and if the size is OK, the finish options on them get decent WAF (the Black Pearl finish is gorgeous).