Today I went to Tweeter at Harlem Ave. & Lake Street in River Forest (yep, it's a recently-opened Tweeter store there, at the west terminal of the CTA's Green Line L) - and I pondered over three PCDPs (I am planning to replace my Panasonic SL-CT470 that's been stopping disc play due to a spring that's pushing up on its plastic lid very close to where the lid-activated switch is located at - if I moved even slightly while I have the CT470 in my case, somehow the disc would pause and stop and resume playing even though I have the Hold switch activated): the Panasonic SL-CT790 ($149.99), the Sony D-EJ855 ($149.99) and the Sony D-EJ1000 ($199.99).
After pondering for an hour I've eliminated the Panasonic - it has no line-out jack whatsoever (on U.S. and Canadian market models), only a headphone-out. (And as with most other Panasonic PCDPs with no line-out, that headphone out itself is really crappy-sounding.) Also, its hinge uses the same crappy exposed-spring mechanism that is also located next to the CT790's lid-activated switch, so I may have the same problems of pausing and stopping.
But I have an even tougher time deciding between the two Sonys: The D-EJ855 has no charging stand, but claims the same 92-hour battery life as the D-EJ955 (not distributed in the U.S.), and it is kinda cool-looking - it has a translucent lid made of soft plastic and is surrounded in blue. That makes it more bump-resistant than the PCDP that I eventually bought, the D-EJ1000. So, the D-EJ855 is the better choice of the two high-end Sony CD Walkman players if you tend to treat your PCDPs a little harshly.
The D-EJ1000 won me over with its metal-cast lid, a charging stand and a pair of NH-14WM batteries that are supposed to run over 40 hours between charges (the D-EJ855 comes with a pair of NC-6WM batteries rated for about 18 hours between charges). (Note that their advertised battery-life claim assumes that you'll be using both the internal rechargeables and the external AA alkalines simultaneously - both players claim 71-hour battery life with just the two external AA alkalines in an external battery case.)
Both players come with a stick remote (the same remote as last year's D-EJ825 and D-EJ925); the 855's isn't backlit, while the 1000's is. And both claim to be CD-R and CD-RW compatible.
I am currently charging the NH-14WM batteries, and then listen to the D-EJ1000. I will post my impressions shortly, followed in a few days by a full review (with a comparison to my other Sony, the D-EJ721, and my rickety Panasonic SL-CT470).