I think a lot depends upon the room size and WAF factor.
Very good point. Where smaller speakers like Fresco and other ML models might make more sense
I just picked up a flawless set of Aerius i's surround rears to match my Aeon i fronts in my dedicated HT ($1,250 for the pair). I have really enjoyed the full speaker power in the rears, providing the 8" woofer, full ELS, etc. Adds an additional flavor in full 4 speaker stereo and blends obviously well.
And you saved $750 over something like the Fresco to spend on more music, more movies, more equipment, etc. Again, I am not saying
the Fresco is a bad speaker - not one bit. But I truely believe you can pickup something in the ML line, like the Aerius, for a good price used and get more performance and save some bucks for other purchases. But the point above about the room size, WAF, and other items, may make purchasing some larger sized speakers not possible.
I alos found the full-sized rears shine in HT, especially with the newer Dolby PL IIx, Neo, 7.1 Matrix, and other latest blending deliveries if your application can support them.
Yes, the Full-Sized and Full-range speakers really do make a BIG difference in HT playback and it also helps with the MCH Music playback - presence, power, etc. I have experienced this first hand with smaller speakers for the rear surrounds before I bought my CLSIIz's and used my Sequel II's for the rear surrounds. I did not realize what I was missing until I made the change. It was a very significant
Thresholdman.....Just more things to think about with your purchase
You cannot go wrong with any of the recommendations made here, but you and your likings, budget, WAF, will make the final decision for you.