You might get more looks/replies if you posted a thread with a more descriptive Subject line. Something such as "Need Help: $1K speakers & receiver" or similar.
If you decide to do such, you can actually delete this thread I believe by using the "Edit" button found in the upper right corner of your first post (it'll offer you the option of deleting the thread entirely, I believe).
I don't have much experience at your price point, so I don't feel qualified to toss out any opinions in that regard.
Try doing separate searches on $500 speakers and $500 receivers -- you will find many threads with good alternatives. One speaker to look at is Klipsch, they have a popular offering that comes in at around $450.
I always suggest you spend a small speaker budget on the front 3 and buy the surrounds you want later. The speakers are the most important part of any system, especially the front 3. FOR NOW, you can use some cheap bb or cc speakers in the rear ($25 or $30). This willd deter the eminent "upgrade bug" for one part of your system for a little while.
As mentioned, there are lots of posts on this subject if you search, but check out lines from:
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!