I would look into the V-Moda XS for your budget...the bass is slightly above "neutral" and the mids/treble are certainly all there. Don't let the on-ear nature fool you...they are VERY comfortable headphones IMO. I would love to hear the Thinksound ON1!
Glad you're doing better! I'm certainly not doubting your earpads were different...I'm sure they were. Just that they are the only reported ones and as such stand out as an anomaly instead of a "new" design as no one else has reported a difference. But time will tell I suppose.
Since you are the only ones with these new pads; while all other PS1000e owners had the standard ones (including myself with 2 pair), I think that pair of earpads was more of an anomaly than a new design. BTW, hope you're feeling better!
Great thoughts on each headphone...I pretty much agree with you on them across the board. I would suggest you try the Sennheiser On-ear momentums (they're not as dark as the over ears), the beyer T51p's and NAD HP50s. But the P7s are really great headphones. I do miss them from time to time.
I agree with George here....I've got his old pair of SR-007Mk1s and the KGSSHV that he built and together they are truly outstanding headphones! I do prefer the SR-009's, but man, my SR-007s aren't going anywhere.