Find yourself a pair of the Apple Pro speakers... look great, sound great.
Ok, I'm not an audio professional, so if you're looking for professional level stuff then don't listen to me. But I got an MDD back in July and was in the same boat, looking for speakers. I have an iMac G4 at work and the Apple Pros do great, so that's what I got for the MDD.
They're capable of some good room-filling volume, I can crank em up in my living room and hear them just fine from the kitchen when I'm cooking. They'll never get loud enough to annoy the neighbors though, so if you're looking to shake walls or physically damage eardrums, they won't do that.
Anyhow, that's my lay-person opinion. You can get them at a good price too via the trading post or ebay.
She who laughs last -- probably made a back-up.
I picked up these Altec Lansings (although they've redesigned the case and up'd the price from the $99 I paid to $129 but you may find them cheaper). I didn't intend to buy these guys but when I heard them I was very impressed. I recommend you go listen to some yourself before you make up your mind.
Try not to get too distracted by sexy speakers and concentrate on sound instead...I know I wanted the really cool looking ones too but I was too cheap and just focused on sound - it is the main thing, no?
My Mac stuff:
Desktop: MacPro 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon DP, 4GB RAM
Laptop: 17" 2.8 Ghz Macbook Pro, Matte screen
iPods: too many!
1: The analog output of the MDD towers is pretty horrendous: noisy and dirty with high pitched whining associated with mouse moves and windows. The best solution for this is to bypass the built-in analog audio using a sound card or USB interface. The cheapest one I can find is the iMic for $51. but you might pick up something used for less - or better for a similar price.
2: the MDDs are LOUD! so you won't derive that much enjoyment from your speakers unless they are able to overpower the noise of the computer. You could invest in some extension cables for your monitor and keyboard, drill a hole in the wall and put the computer in the closet or another room. Another solution may be to bypass speakers and get a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
In any case... probably a good idea to wait untill your computer is set up before making a decision on what to do with sound. In the speaker department, these might be worth checking out:
A local Toronto retailer has them listed at $120. A bit more than your MAX - but a small premium if they sound significantly better. and they seem to match the poise of the iMac G5 and iPod - but not the colour. Tascam markets them "to be used for home recording and multimedia" - so they should sound significantly better than what you'd find in a computer store. But as always - let your ear be the judge.
A word of warning though. The analog output of the MDD towers is pretty horrendous: noisy and dirty with high pitched whining associated with mouse moves and windows. The best solution for this is to bypass the built-in analog audio using a sound card or USB interface. The cheapest one I can find is the iMic for $51. but you might pick up something used for less - or better for a similar price.
Well I sold my iMic? It cant be worse then the G3 can it? Maybe you just have a dud? Can anyone confirm this?