He's just saying that right now, he has to pay $600 for an audiophile player with good UI--and he's hoping that the X3 will change this. This is based upon my extremely detailed full analysis of his postve, with my findings published here.
About the iPod DAC-I have the Classic 7G and I find the soundstage to be a bit narrow and the treble to be a bit harsh. But hey, that's just me. I love the UI and storage space of the Classic (160G can hold all of my music) but the DAC does not quite cut it. Sure, now I have a fairly measly portable setup (Went from a E11 w/ RE262s, which were stolen, to a pair of "temporary" GR06s), but I can hear an audible difference between the iPod DAC and my ODAC, rPAC, and receiver integrated DAC (Pioneer Elite VSX-52 DAC being worse than the iPod's) But hey, this is just based on subjective listening and the opinions of many of my friends.
He is right, i hope that the x3 would at least be an
improvement from an ipod stack with 150 dollar amp with good ui and functionality . Of course i would be all over x5 if they look prettier than the x3, there is something just so alluring about ak100