I was surprised read one forumer's post on the first page saying he was not pleased with the sound quality (CD playback) on his $3500 MSRP Denon 5910 universal player. Frankly, that's hard to believe, but to each his own I guess.
I understand all the arguments about the pros and cons of using a dedicated component vs. a universal player and so forth, but I have to believe once you get into a certain price range, you end up with a build quality and assembly that meets high quality.
The Denon 5910 would be one such player, and my Onkyo DVSP1000 would be another, and a much better bargain, to boot.
All this being said, I'll throw down a vote for my Onkyo DVSP1000 universal player.
If you go to an authorized dealer like Vanns.com and put that puppy in a shopping cart, I think you'll see a very compelling price. That's where I bought mine two Novembers ago.http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=488569
That thread will give you a very thorough idea of what's what.
Audio wise, this Onkyo was reviewed and favorably compared to such brands as Linn, Esoteric, and yes, Meridian. In some cases equally, in one shocking case, even superior. The audio was also rated superior to even the $3500 MSRP Denon 5910. You'll see all of this in that thread.
It starts going downhill after about page 5 or 6 because of some trolls, but by that point there was so much good information it just didn't matter.
If you can get this player at the sale price I'm thinking about (well below $1500) I think it's an outright bargain.
It even has a button on the remote and on the front of the unit to turn the video circuitry on and off at will.
I don't think you can find something APPRECIABLY better without spending an asinine amount of money.
If anyone can, I honestly want to know about it.
That's my $0.02.