Still more questions while I mull over some upgrades.
My listening area near field, but not. It is an approximate 9 x 9 foot area carved out of a large, open floor plan finished basement and defined by the paneled foundation wall on left side, some 32" tall bookcases with the record collection define the "end" of the space where the speakers are located, and a sofa table behind the sofa defines the right side of the area. My back of my listening chair defines the end of the 9' length, so I have some variability available to me, but not much. The entire room measures 22.5' by 36' with a closet and laundry room taking a 7' x 14' chunk out of the corner to the right and behind my listening postion. Ceiling height is 10 feet except for the HVAC duct which runs the length of the room. Equipment racks are low along the left wall and the speakers are positioned about 15" in front of the bookshelves.
I'm quite content with the volume levels generated by my old Signet 280s which are driven by a bi-amped system of an Exposure 2010s and an old Parasound HCA-600; rarely turning the volume knob past 9 o'clock on CDs and 10-11 o'clock on records. That's all the volume I care for, and I can assure you it's plenty.
I'm considering updating my speakers and am all over the map on this. The maximum budget is around $2K, though if my local dealer offers me a pair of Definitive ST's at a reduced price I would be sorely tempted, but I'd prefer to find a solution in the $2K range. I'm considering a pair of Spendor S3/5Rs mated to an REL T3 sub but the notes about volume limitations on the Spendors have me wondering if they would work okay or not in this setting.