I agree with you though Bill that at $250-300 the DT880 is the more well-rounded headphone especially for people who want their first taste of what headphones have to offer. You are right though that the DT880 is more suitable for certain types of music, especially classical and airy vocals like Bjork or Cocteau Twins.
Spending $600 is quite a bit of money for a new Head-fier. That would take the AD's out of the picture for most people. Getting the DT880 + a DAC/amp combo is something I lived with for nearly two years and still haven't wanted to sell my DT880s.
dt880 is something that people that prefers accuracy and neutrality feels a little fond of, well, maybe until they try T1 according to people's posts. I just bought he-400i. That renders the dt880 moot to be honest. But i'm still holding off on selling my dt880 because, while he-400i does some things better than dt880, and for me personally since i seek more forward mids and he-400i does that better than dt880, the dt880 is moot. Not to mention, at my current situation, I don't really need 3 headphones
But the dt880 neutrality, tight controlled bass, and upper treble information is really something that is not easy to be found on a sub-$500 headphone. Well, maybe the hd600. but that's it.
i really need to recoup my loss from getting the he-400i at a premium, so selling my dt880 is a must. But i have a strong feeling that letting it go would be a mistake that i might regret.
Because he-400i noticably lacks air compared to dt880 and so it affects it's timbre and decay, and thus affecting how realistic something sounds. It's not bad, it's just diferent i guess.
Though on a different note, i really can't wear dt880 for more than 30 minutes without my inner ear physically hurting. But that's not dt880 fault though. one of my ear just so happen to have high frequency sensitivity. And i don't know why but, maybe peaks at ~9khz hurts me the most. I'm shooting in the dark here but basically, while grado prestige series has more attack, and comparatively brighter, the dt880 hurts my inner ear more. Or maybe because it's semi-open, as my ear are also hurt from listening to Alpha Dogs.
idk, basically, dt880 is quite a special headphone. Now if only it has a little more forward or colored midrange, i would personally not need any other headphone on the sub $500 range. (other than my main headphone that only cost $140)...