I became a confirmed headphone-user when I purchased a pair of Beyerdynamic DT531's. I got them from a local dealer for £120 back in 1997.
I had been in and bought a Rotel Pre and a couple of matching Power amps. I was also looking for some cans so I asked if he had any decent ones that I could listen to. He asked what budget I had in mind and I said that price wasn't really a problem so long as they sounded good.
Hehehehe, he went out the back and came back a few moments later with a pair of STAX LAMBDA NOVA BASIC's. I put them on and was blown away by the sound I was hearing, especially as he had connected them to a Naim CDX! I was in heaven, and then I asked the price. I was gutted that I couldn't afford them so settled for second best, and slinked off home with the DT531's.
However, I couldn't get those Stax phones out of my mind and eventually bought them about nine months later.
On another ocassion I happened to visit the local Superfi dealer here in Hull and somehow came out with a pair of SENNHEISER EARMAX HD470's. God are they awful phones. No bass to speak off and all treble. I persevered with them and even used them portable but I got so many funy looks that they were relegated to the gash box. I gave those to my father eventually and he seems to like them.
For portable use, I have found what I class as being Audio Nirvana. I picked up a pair of STAX SR-001's Portable electrostats and have been using those since early '98. Some sweet phones! Only problem is that they are very hungry on the batteries and tend to last from 2 - 5 hours depending on a pair of AA cells. I have found that the ribbon cable on the Stax is very delicate and i'm having to send them away for the second time to get it replaced.
Have also got a pair of KOSS 'THE PLUG' but to be honest, they are not too hot and I can't be arsed to mod them. I just hate the foam inserts that they come with and experimenting with other inserts doesn't make them much better. Anyway, I only got them as a stopgap until my STAX get fixed.
I also have a pair of SENNHEISER HD580's. Got them in December 2001 from Richer Sounds. They usually retail at £200 here in the UK so I was quite pleased to see them at £59.95. I am reasonably impressed with them, they are still running in at the moment. I suspect that they need an amplifier and that will be a purchase i'll be making this year some time.
I got a nice surprise in the post yesterday. A £500 cheque from the Taxman for overpayment of my income tax :-) My mind is all of a blur in wondering what goodies I can spend it on. Will be adding some more cans to my arsenal shortly but not sure yet. The Stax SRS4040 look nice and are very tempting - bit over the £500 mark though.
I'm waffling again. What I suppose i'm trying to say is that like many others in this group, I am a complete headphone nut.
My motto is YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH PAIRS OF PHONES!