Hey guys... thanks a lot for all of your replies!
BUT..... I ended up pulling the plug on Monday, and buying a set of Energy Reference Connoisseur RC-70s, with an RC-LCR centre and 3 RC-R surrounds. I've always really liked the sound of the RC, but the only place to get them in Regina is now Future Shop.
They were asking full MSRP of $2500 for them, so I had written them off. However, they were $700 off this week, and before I ordered a set of Axioms I decided to walk in there and make them an offer. Much to my surprise, they were willing to negotiate! I guess it's a relatively higher-end product being sold in a smaller market, in a store where people go to buy commodity items, so maybe they needed to get rid of some inventory... but at the end of the day, I got the RCs for what I consider to be a fair price, so I picked them up.
Energy talks about a 100hr break-in, and most of the reviews seem to echo that... they all mention that it's the most dramatic transformation they've ever seen in a speaker during break-in. All I can say is that the pair in the store, hooked up to an HK147 AVR sounded incredible, and mine already sound pretty incredible with my Yamaha 1200.
I notice they are particularly impressive with piano, strings, and voices. The sound stage and imaging is quite impressive, but I notice that the image is actually BEHIND the plane of the speakers, which I find interesting. It makes the room seem MUCH bigger. Does anyone have any comment on that? I find that even with two speakers, I end up with some of the most 3 dimensional sound I've ever heard.
Overall, I'm quite happy with my purchase. I probably would have been happy with Axiom, too, but really like the real wood veneer on the RCs and was getting something that I KNEW I like the sound of.
Thanks to all the wonderful people on this board! You guys really are a great community, and I hope that I can continue to be a participating member of this "family". A special thanks to Ajax for all his detailed emails helping me filter all the info.