You have a good point, I have posted elsewhere that the Elex is the best starter can. A bit tongue-in-cheek, but true also, and you save money & time... so yes, some argued ‘they will miss the journey’,, well,,,, we have all been on a quest if you are even posting here;) give me the damn music.
Reswright, I think you see the direction we are recommending here. The sound quality available today, at these prices, was reserved for the few, not too long ago,, you are only steps away.
Balance your choices to budget, though do not put a bad link into the chain, nor carry a marginal one too far.
Or, screw it and dip into the retirement fund, and buy the Elex, THX, the Airist R-2R and some decent cables, a player & files,, and,, nirvana will seek you;)