These are my initial impressions after a week of use, with a 2011 Macbook Air & RSA Shadow.
Value: 5/5 Value is relative, so I'm defining this value as relative to the top end IEM market. I don't have any experience with other top end IEM such as the JH13/16 or UE11/18 so I can only compare price. In that case the ES5 has the lowest price for a top end, brand-name IEM at $900-950.
Audio Quality: 5/5 The ES5 is definitely a reference-quality monitor, the sound quality is really as good as it gets. I get the impression that at this level all the big boys have quality, the only differences are comfort, isolation & sound signature. Highs, mids & lows are all supercalafragalistic & other adjectives as they should be in this price range.
The ES5 manages to be both very musical & very neutral. To me they present the music more like a well-engineered live performance & less analytical like monitors in a studio. To give another example they give the impression of gig in an acoustically perfected music hall as opposed to the clinical studio setting. These are the first earphones I've had where I prefer the music naked & not EQ'd & it's the first time I've understood about recordings being mixed a way I don't prefer as opposed to being just a shoddy recording.
Design: 4/5 I knocked off a star for the memory plastic, it serves no purpose but getting in the way, the cord's own weight is sufficient to keep it in place around the ear. I'm also slightly disappointed at the build quality, it's certainly very good but not quite the craftsman's perfection that I expected.
Comfort: 4/5 This star was also a casualty of the memory plastic, otherwise they are very comfortable for long sessions without causing fatigue or pain.
Isolation: 5/5 Isolation is great thanks to the material used, great enough that it annoys my wife, she has to make visual contact before talking.
Overall: 5/5 I have no regrets about my wallet being a grand lighter, even though $1000 is about a year's worth of allowance (all you single non-parent types enjoy it while it lasts!).