That's odd about the transformers, since last time I checked I could buy a 'name brand' 50VA toroid for a shadow over £10. Hell, you can get specific-winding custom-made ones with extra treatments and twiddly bits for not much more than that. For me a trafo is a trafo: one voltage/current ration goes in, another comes out.
And on component quality: my main amp right now is was a kit from China, with a gorgeous, well made and laid-out PCB. All the resistors were brown Dale, all the capacitors were Nichicon Muses or Fine Gold or WIMA, and the transistors were worth a pretty penny too. How much did it cost me? £40. Getting those components separately in UK the would have cost me probably twice as much.
Yes, there's a lot of Chinese crap out there. Yes, a lot of it is using cheap, lowgrade components and being sold at knockdown prices to unsuspecting suckers. But there's still a hell of a lot of good stuff coming out of China audio-wise, and completely turning a blind eye to all of it is, in my opinion, stupid and nonsensical.
ON TOPIC, I wasn't that impressed by the Stax SR-007 I heard through a super cryo-treated uber amp at a meet. This was also linked up to some incredibly expensive CD player (£5000+), which also didn't seem to be doing much for me. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that most high-end digital sources aren't going to provide anything like the improvement some people say they give.
The least overrated headphone I know of has to be the HD 600. There can be flamewars left and right, but the HD 600 just keeps on plodding along, being fantastic in its own way. I've never seen anyone with anything really bad to say about it, unless it's to say that they prefer 'x' to the HD 600. Nobody hates on the treble presentation or the bass or the mids, because everything is balanced and works.
Cue HD 600 haters in 3... 2... 1...