The M-Audio are nice speakers, but I usually avoid recomending them to non-production users, simply because the are designed to be as accurate as possible. You may love them, but unless you find somewhere to listen to them in person before you buy, you may also find yourself thinking that everything now sounds horrible. Studio monitors are a love/hate affair, and if you want to venture that (perfectly good) route, I strongly suggest some in-person auditions. (Ideally, you should audition everything you might want to buy, but definatly in the case of the studio monitors.)
@ Jimmy, don't worry about sounding arrogant.
You have a good point that computer speakers can only be so good, but, as mentioned by someone early on in the thread, for this budget you've got to cut a corner somewhere. For a sound card, headphones, and speakers, seperates just don't factor in well. Heck, if the whole budget was devoted to speaker seperates it'd still be tough!
We're just trying to get the guy some nicer-than-average audio equipment that he can enjoy and grow from.