Warning, audio novice at work here, so speak slow. ;)
I thought I'd start with the speaker issue, then go to the amplifier issue. This is for an audio system only, not home theatre. I listen to all sorts of music, but want to "tune" my system for classical (esp. chamber and opera) and jazz.
My first thought was to go with Polk again, which has been my choice since the 80's. Lived with it, loved it. But when I checked them out, I found to my surprise that the Sonus Fabers (coupled with a Martin Logan sub) gave a great sound. The plus is great sound in a small package. The shelf Polks didn't seem to compete. And the Polk towers seemed a bit bassy even without a sub. The other speaker that attracted me even more, til I checked the price tag, was a Martin Logan.
I can use all the help I can get figuring this out. I also need some practical advice about where to get these, too. Am I better off buying locally or online, from a price point of view, from a service/warranty p-o-v? When looking at speakers like these, are there places that discount and are reliable or do I run the hazard of damaged goods?
And in the case of the Sonus Faber (either Concertina or Concerto), does anyone know what's happening with their new versions? Am I better off getting the older version, discounted, and with, presumably the kinks worked out or will the newer version be so improved that it's worth paying more for?
I see lots of advice here about buying high quality used components and I can see the logic of that. So many of you seem to be compulsively upgrading, there must be a lot of good used equipment out there. But with so little audio knowledge that seems a risky course for me to take.