Judging speakers is *really* tricky. For about 6 months (a long time ago) my friends and I had a number of speakers between us, most of which were considered "best of breed" and which would probably have been raved about on the internet if there had actually been an internet back then. We all lived in the same area so swapping speakers and bringing them together for comparison testing was easy (helped by the habit of bringing several sound systems together when throwing a party):
2 way KEF with 8" woofer, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, sealed cabinet
3 way KEF with 9x13 woofer, 5" mid, 3/4" tweeter and KEF crossover, transmission line cabinet
2 way Rogers LS3/5a with 5" KEF woofer, 3/4" KEF tweeter, sealed cabinet, plus Rogers passive sub
3 way Philips Deforest (10"/5"/1") with Philips crossover, sealed cabinet
2 way Philips servo feedback with 8" woofer, 1" tweeter, sealed cabinet with built-in power amps
All of these were highly regarded by their own "support groups", all sounded very good, all sounded quite different from each other. Nobody agreed on which was best, except on specific albums.
One of the challenges when buying speakers is that some recordings seem to be mixed for playback on less-than-accurate systems and therefore do sound "thin and harsh" if you play them back on an accurate system. I have some recordings which sound fantastic in the car (typical crappy car system) but not good at all on my home system.
In a perfect world this variation in content would be going away as home theater systems (which don't need to deal with this historical variation in recording/mixing practices) become the norm and allow "mixed for flat and accurate speakers" content to dominate, but I fear that we're probably seeing some of the opposite trend - mixing albums to sound good on portable media players with compressed digital content and $3 headsets.
It shouldn't be this hard