Re: tower speakers advice
$3,000 a pair gives you a lot of flexibility in speakers. Polk is a solid company, but you should be aware the LSi25's are 4 Ohm speakers, and I don't know what you use for a system, but many receivers will have a hard time and get really hot powering a 4 Ohm load, check your manufacturers website for this one.
I personally have been loving the new Definitive Technology Mythos ST's, while they just went up to $3,998 a pair, they also just released a slightly smaller version the STS's or SST's that sound the same, they just can't play quite as loud that retail for $2,998 a pair (don't worry, I clocked the ST's at over 110 dB in a very large and open room, volume is not an issue with these!) FWIW Sandy Gross, the head man @ Def Tech was one of the founders of Polk audio.
Prerich is absolutely right on about listening for yourself though, YOU will be living with them, YOU need to like them, and this means sonically as well as aesthetically. I would encourage you to go listen to as many different speakers WITH MATERIAL YOU ARE PERSONALLY FAMILIAR WITH (can't stress the last part enough, bring your favorite music and films, and try to use the same things for each system to best see the differences between them.
Look at speakers in your price range, some below, and as many above too. You are in the Chicago area so I am sure you can find some great audio dealers in the area, and many other cities are only a few hours away if you can't find something locally. Oh, if you do go to other cities to demo gear, call the store in advance, let them know what you want to look at and when you'll be coming by. It will save you the headache of a pompous salesman just blowing you off, and if you DO get that, then you simply grab the manager and tell him you even called to arrange this and are being treated poorly....... Sorry for the final warning there, but high end stores tend to miss the customer service thing a lot....
Ken Taraszka, MD