I recently reviewed the budget speaker post that has been an ongoing thread, and found it very informative -- and should reciprocate for all the great advice as I recently purchased a small second two channel system for the bed room. Of course the joy of music and hifi is that everyones tastand needs are different, but I hope my experience in listening to just about every speaker in Chicago over the last three years and countless hours of research is helpful.
First, for all speakers I recommend a listening of ACT speakers to everyone at any price point. Every ACT speaker is on every reviews best of list, both british, USA and world, and for good reason. Just give a listen and you will know within the first 30 seconds why. The ATC hand built mid drivers are the reference for studio production. The active versions, from all my listening are better than any speaker at twice the cost, and you don't have to buy amps. (Obviously I am bias -- my main system is 20 actives). But please do not take my word on it, just do yourself a favor and go listen for yourself.
Back to budget -- The ACT7 (least expensice ACT) for 1k are amazing kit, even at this price. However, they are really not budget -- unless you are looking to spend what I would consider more that a budget system expense on the rest of your kit, at least $1500. ATC performance comes at a price, first, they are about as efficient as a brick, so power ( a lot of power) is key; second, this level of detail and performance is revealing, (what you would expect from a studio refrence monitor) shortcoming in the system or recording for that matter will be revealed. So be careful.
Which finaly gets me to the actual point of this rant -- GREAT inexpensive speakder that don't require you to be careful, REGA R1. At $500 US, you can place these monitors anywhere, and I do mean anywhere,(the closer to the wall the better) and they will peform, detail, timing, and present an amazing soound stage. Easy to drive 90db. I have mine just sitting on a dresser, thru a NAD 320BEE, and some old Yamaha DVD player, and CD sound great -- have not gotten setting up the bedroom video yet.
I hope my experience is helpful.