I could really use some advice.

We're remodeling a bathroom with new vanity/sink, tile, and paint. The new vanity/sink came as a pre-fabbed unit with fixtures installed. We liked the look of the total package... now I'm left trying to figure out the least painful way to update the tub/shower fixtures to be a little closer match.

I don't know the brand of the sink fixtures, but the style is a cross handle sort of Elizabethan look. Finish is brushed brass/bronze... not dark oil-rubbed or bright polished, but somewhere in-between.

The existing tub/shower fixtures are American Standard AquaSeal, and though they're 30+ years old we haven't had any problems out of them. We'd really like to update the look to complement the rest of the bathroom. Shower surround is mud/tile, and I've stripped the old tile but left the mud walls in preparation to re-tile the bath and shower surround. I have complete access to the back of the shower.

I know I can replace the drain, showerhead, and spout/diverter without much trouble, but of course it's the handles that are going to be a pain. If I could find a way to update just the handles and get the shower head/spout/drain to match pretty close I'd be very happy with that. I looked at the Danco stuff at the local Lowe's, but they didn't have much in stock. Looks like they make "universal" handles in brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze - either would be a better match than the old chrome that is there. Looks like they also have canopy models, cross models, and lever models under the "universal" section.

OK, so the questions...

Any experience with universal handles? Any suggestions on where to look for some that are compatible with these American Standard stems, and have modern finish options like brushed or rubbed brass or nickel?

If universal is a no-go, where do I go from there? The current setup is two-handle, but I know that is getting scarce now. With the mud wall, I'd hate to start punching more holes for a single handle, and there is a 2x4 right down the center that I'd have to move or deal with. I guess I'm capable of cutting out the old steel-pipe installed valves and stuff, I would really just rather not. And I'd rather not spend many hundreds of dollars just to update the "look" of perfectly good fixtures.

I'm hoping someone can suggest an easy way to get this done. Help?