Hey JonnyQuest, this is Hodgy, jk.
Your original choice of the Monitor line is a good one. Run off just the AVR, they sound "okay". Juiced up with lots of power from an external amp, they sound great.
I have no experience with Infinity so I can't compare. The RTi and RTiA lines are awesome (also need power) but that may seem to stress your budget. If you want the Monitors, you can purchase with confidence knowing that need extra power to sound great.