Re: $2500 for L/R/C speakers, what do I audition?
Having reviewed and lived with the Paradigm Studio system for several months I can tell you it's a great movie system, and you know you like the Paradigm sound, but I have to wonder if you might want to reconsider some things here.....
I understand wanting new L/C/R speakers, but..... What if you took that $2,500 and bought the 100's and kept your current center and moved the rest of the speakers around??? you could update the center later on as time and $$ permit and keep that eternal upgrade bug away for much longer knowing you got the top of the line fronts, and the bass these things put out is excellent. I know you'll have a sub, but full sized speakers really make an improvement in HT sound, hell, I even use them for surrounds!
As for the 40's vs 60's, that is not so easy. You will need stands for the 40's, adding to their price (unless you already have some) so this needs to be factored in as well, and again, I think full sized speakers really do make a significant difference, but you'll need to listen for yourself and see, this after all is the ultimate test and the rec to take your music and listen for yourself can't be stressed enough.
BTW It is not unreasonable to bring your current center in and see how it mates to the current Paradigms.... In case you want to consider the 100's (which I think you'd love that is why I'm suggesting this!)
Ken Taraszka, MD