Not necessarily golden ears, but just a sound that I could appreciate. But, I'm not sure how much I've read is also influencing my desire for the older D3. Even when I had the initial version of the D3 with the Wolfson DAC chip, it performed good, but remember liking the Muse DAC based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip. Ultimately, though, I ended up selling off all the DACs that could be connected to my computer in favor of using my Squeezebox that fed a 2-channel integrated amp that I used for my headphone amplification.
Something recently drove me back to the computer connection and I am on a bit of a mission to get things buckled down. I doubt I'll be able to locate one of the previous D3s (the non-Taishan version) but I did purchase another Muse DAC built around another DAC chip though which has been upgraded with new caps by many members here with the goal of improving the sound.
Finally, will I ever be a $1,000 DAC person? Probably not. I like to explore a bit in the $300 and under category which is more of an enjoyment to me.