Hi Chaps, just thought I'd comment as I thought my experiences over the last few months are relevent. I really don't mean to offend anyone and it's just my opinions and experiences!
I started off with a couple of 'old' amps (Denon and Yamaha) and bought a Cambridge Audio 640Av2 without an audition. I took it back the next day in complete disappointment.
I returned back from Richer Sounds with a 740A instead (long story).
In my experience, the jump from 640 to 740 is enormous. I'm now on my 2nd 840A (another long story) and loving it.
Before getting the 2nd 840A though, I auditioned Arcams, Rotel, Primare etc and nothing hit the spot for me (for my budget).
So, yes, I'd love to have a Primare badge on my shelf, but, for me, the Cambridge Audio sounded better! So - don't dismiss CA as not in the same league as Arcam etc - they most certainly are - but it comes down to preference and matching gear.
Also, note my feelings on the jump from 640 to 740 to 840.
Cambridge Audio have convinced Richer Sounds to give a true no quibble full refund if you don't like the 840A so only petrol money at stake if it's on the shortlist. And in my experience, a home demo is much more relevent than a store demo (the Sevenoaks Cambridge store had worse accoustics than my front room - a reason why they let me take a Primare home!)
Joelsim, out of interest, have you heard an 840A?
It's interesting (well, to me) that I really rate my old Arcam Alpha 7 - it has a lovely timbre and delicate top end. But it didn't satisfy me on the oomph scale.
The last thing to note is that, unlike d_a_n above, one is unlikely to be 'impressing' people in shops with CA gear! Most shops almost start gagging at the sound of 840A! Thats the price you pay though!
Edit: Oops just remembered the OP was askng about speakers! I have RS6's, which I truely love (again - home demo'd from the excellent Technosound of Dunstable). Didn't listen to the RS8's so can't comment (other than repeating other stuff I've read on the web and passing it on as 1st hand experience)