I tend to agree multilaterally with this train of thought. I originally bought Burson HA160D for my Senn 800s but found both Senns, 600 & 800 sounded much better by my little Creek OBH-11 which only cost $225.00. Thinking there must be better than what I was hearing then, I started looking at other amps, Conductor and HDVD 800 among them. I then started thinking that maybe I had started out wrong with Senn 800 and perhaps should have bought LCD3. This line of reasoning brought me to the circular dilemma of well, do you buy the amp first and then go looking for cans or buy the cans and go looking for amp, or start all over somewhere in the middle and spend a lot more money being confused?
After awhile I was forced to notice (once again) that the source recording was what made the most difference, regular redbook CD or SACD: There are some redbook CDs that sound incredible, much better than some SACDs: better engineering, miking and whatever. Also a prominent factor is the synergy, whatever that really is, with one's own particular system, that is operating in the line; cables, impedence, whatever. Some things, for whatever reason just sound better juxtaposed with some other things. I don't do computer audio yet so I just do CDs and use an Oppo 95 and a Denon DVD-3930. The Burr Brown chip in the Denon is a PCM 1796 vs. the 1792 in the HDVD800, and is a later and supposedly better design. My HD800s sound incredible using the Denon and Creek. Maybe I have reached audio nirvana already and just haven't realized it yet. Maybe I don't have to spend any more money for perhaps 5% ? improvement. Maybe I am just lucky feeling good in my ignorance of what anything more expensive out there would sound like if I went out an bought it. If I bought the HDVD 800 I would probably use the 1796 in the Denon as DAC out into the amp anyway, but the only way to really know would be to spend $2000.
I think I shall temporarily forego a further disbursement of dollars and content myself with what I have. To pursue the absolute sound ad infinitum or rest on laurels which sound quite good enough? That is the question. Where does it all end? Well, for some people it never ends, but then that is the whole point of this forum, right?