Hi I had about the same budget and I picked up a pair of Polk 1.2's for $1000. I bought a Sony Strda777es reciever for $250 and a ratty Sony CD player for about $30. I also have a Sony biotracer turntable for $150 and the whole system is pretty amazing. So I guess what I am trying to say is I would spend by far the biggest percentage on speakers. The electronics are cheap and easy to upgrade later.