Originally Posted by Spektrograf
With the remainder of your budget (~$350), check out (for cheap) the Pioneer DV-578A-S Universal Player or step up to the Pioneer Elite DV-45A Universal Player. From what I understand, Pioneer's universal players are decent for the price.
If your gf's dad is willing to stretch his budget a little, a Marantz or Denon may be in the cards, but that's where I'd start at that price point. The only things this player misses is the ability to decode HDCD (not a prob since, in case you didn't know, HDCD is CD compatible). If you get an NAD receiver that has HDCD decoding on it, that's two birds with one stone! G'luck!
I'll look into that...