What would you get if you have $1200 for hardware? Mind giving me a little list?
With Taiwanese bang for the buck mind and American family man context, if I were in your situation I would get two ZLX 12P, a Zed 10 FX, two wired mics suitable to your voice qualities, 2 tripods, 4 XLR cables of necessary length, all at the store you auditioned speakers at. It is not unrealistic to get all these for $1200 if you do some research. I would think they are willing to work with your budget limit and give you a satisfactory package. It is good to develop a good relationship with local vendor, if they are reasonable. Good luck, and don't let getting gear rob you of the joy of producing music.
Btw, any software you spend for live performance would not do you any good. You just need quality tracks. For recording, it's a different story.