.01 or .02 cents worth - maybe .03:
I have listened to Paradigm Ref. 60's and the older Monitor Audio 5i series. I do not know how the 5i's compare to the new S series. My impression was that the 60's beat the 5i's, but not by a wide margin. The 5i's were not as tolerant of poor recordings. The 60's sounded more "lush" and gave more "emotion" than did the 5i's with almost all types of recordings (to me). But, in the 5i's favor, they were more rewarding of very good recordings. They were exceptionally clean with well-recorded acoustic music (so were the 60's). And actually, they both sound a little dull and muddy when playing very mediocre recordings. I can't imagine any non-true audiophile not loving either one. These comments are in regard to music only. For home theater, they are much more alike than different. I own the 60's and am currently looking at upgrading them. One of the speakers on my short list is the Monitor Audio Gold Ref. 20. I may not be able to use floorstanders in my new setup, so I am looking at bookshelf models as well.
My comments and opinions are not hard and fast. All areas I described evaluating both speakers were MUCH closer in performance than what I've indicated. There are differences, but they are subtle.
If you would like more opinion, my opinion of both companies goes something like this:
Monitor Audio attempts to make the source and electronics coming before them heard as true and uncolored as possible. Their upper lines acheive this more so than the lower. If this is true, then for some it may or may not be a good thing. For home theater, I believe it to be a good thing for just about anyone (unless using pretty poor electronics).
Paradigm colors the bass and/or upper midrange ever so slightly to sound good with just about anything. And I think they do this even with their Reference series. They add a little bass/midrange hump to extend those ranges over to the tweeter more than what an "uncolored" speaker does. This works in their favor because most people buying in this range want (and expect) their speakers to sound very good with all their material. This philosophy comes at the expense of what extremely good recordings and electronics are capable of though. While they still sound very good (even fantastic), they don't sound as good as they could if they remained true to whatever was coming in (in my example, a very good recording). A very good recording should not have any frequency range over emphasized, and the Paradigm's have this little hump I mentioned that does emphasize certain frequencies.
Keep in mind, all this is extremely minor for most people. I bought and have loved my 60's and don't regret my buying decision at all. Afterall, they have transitioned me from a very casual listener to a moderately critical listener. This may be more of a curse though.....