Re: Studio Monitors
Keep in mind that monitors are not made to "sound good", but rather, to sound neutral, acurate, and flat, to let you hear what's really going on. So when you go out to audition some sets, be wary of ones that sound flattering and make the recording sound better than it really is.
There are some good deals to be had, especially on the used market. I suggest something with at least an 8" woofer, so you can get accurate low frequency extension. I use a sub with my 8" nearfields, not for low end "hype", but for further extension down to 30 Hz.
I use my system for casual listening too. This lets me really hear the music, while simultaneously keeping my ear in tune with the monitors. After a while, it becomes like an old pair of underwear; You know exactly how everything should fit.
I hesitate to recommend brands and models, as my favorite old pair of underwear may or may not fit someone else. But I will say that if you cheap out, you will eventually go to upgrade, thus being out the money you originally spent on your cheapos, plus the money for the nice ones. In addition, your ear would endure some poisoning along the way, and it would take longer to adjust to a real professional set.
I always err on the side of getting fewer things of higher quality and adding to them later, rather than have to upgrade and update a whole series of cheap parts. You're only as good as your weakest link.