Thanks. I shall heed your advice. Very well said.
I suspect many of us have another challenge which is that there are no longer showrooms to go listen to a variety of DACs (if ever there were). I happen to live in far Northern Idaho, the woods and mountains are great but there aren't a lot of good audio shops around. Most of them don't carry the models most of us would like to look at anyway. At the end of the day shopping doesn't help much because you can't hear the DACs plugged into the rest of your system with your room and speakers or your cans. Nor can you listen critically for hours in most stores. Jason Stoddard talks about this phenomenon in book/blog.
Direct sales has really changed the whole ethos of buying. You order something and try it out and if it works for you, you keep it, if not you send it back. Most direct sales companies encourage customers to try their equipment out and send it back if they don't like it. That's what I am going to do for Gungnir.
I don't know if it exists anywhere but wouldn't it be nice if there were a rental or free lending library for electronics? I'll bet most of us have some pieces we could donate. It's an interesting concept for someone who wants to put in the work to set it up and run it. Which is not me.
Thanks again KLJTech....