My comments about depth of soundstage were based on dparrish's stock Sony XA777ES and Nick's Oris 150 system. I've not yet heard a modded player. I'd like to think with $5k invested in it that it would best your $2500 vinyl system, but I'm not convinced that it will across the board. Dan Wright is, of course, more confident. To say the least, we'll be sticking this thing in Nick's system when it's done and I'll hopefully have opportunity to AB it to dparrish's stock XA777ES (possibly in the Oris). If you'd like to provide the analog, I'll be glad to treat you to margaritas afterward.
I don't know if weird is the right word, I just think it's unrealistic to expect a $200 SACD player in its infancy to best your vinyl rig. CD was out for 20 years, has players costing $20k or more and still has trouble beating th best vinyl rigs. There is a popular myth that CD was introduced because it was a superior sound quality format but remember that the true reasons have more to do with portability, lack of wear characteristics, built-in copyprotection (at the time) and most importantly the ability to resell a back catalog. Fidelity was low on the industry's list of the priorities and if CD was to be compared to anything it was to worn out analog cassettes played in boomboxes and car stereos.
My honest belief is that low end equipment so often creates so many of its own individual problems that you cannot properly judge the format's abilities. If, for example, a $200 SACD player for cost reasons cut down its opamps to opamps that are known to produce frequency distortions, why wouldn't you then think that all SACDs had this high frequency distortion? In my view, many people commonly believe that CD is in capable of frequency extremes due in large part to transport and power supply problems--and that's just CD, not to mention SACD. I understand your complaint about handing over opinion leadership to those with wealth. This is the problem with everything. How do I know a Lamborgini has better handling than a Prelude? I've driven a Prelude but only the wealthy can even rent Lamborginis. Life isn't fair. None the less, not all wealthy people have the agenda of misleading young audiophiles with no money and I do believe you can put some stock in the opinions of some of them. Watching them fight freely on internet forums is at least as valuable as presidential debates and probably much more so. You take what you can get.
It proved your ability to be sarcastic but of this I had no doubts. What it could do, if you felt inclined to share your experiences, is give us all a greater sense of what kind of qualities you feel vinyl excels at and which qualities, if any, you think SACD can do even better. Knowing your associated equipment would be beneficial, of course. As I said, this isn't the kind of debate one can "win" and knowing what qualities people subjectively feel belong to each format is the best we can hope to gather from such conversations. I believe that's worth it, though.