How am I supposed to test the equipment when my local audio shops have such a limited selection of speakers? They sell Boston, JL and Kenwood and Kicker, and that's about it...Those are good questions, but in order for the answers to mean anything, you really need to learn more about the parameters and what they can tell you about the potential performance of any given speaker. If you are interested, there are many excellent threads covering those subjects here on this forum.
However, the most direct solution remains virtually the same as it has always been when shopping for audio gear - find a place locally to audition different options, and choose whatever you like best. Beyond that, relying on subjective opinions over the internet will only lead you in circles.
Yeah, those are nice speakers. I have no knowledge on JBL speakers. THe real question is.. will you tell a difference between $160 speakers, and $250-300 speakers? If its maybe a 10% difference, is it worth the cost? etc. Usually better to start lower cost vs higher cost, to get a better understanding of what you are looking for in equipment. I have heard $1500 systems blow mine out of the water, though im perfectly satisfied with the 700~ Im into mine for. Just my 2 cents.