JUst a follow-up: Benchmark repaired my DAC1 (they detected the noisy volume control pot and replaced it, even though I hadn't mentioned it). It was out of warranty but the price was quite reasonable and the service excellent (their head of tech support called me personally to make sure everything was OK. It's seldom you see that kind of service in electronics. I tested it against the Anedio D2, taking care to match the levels with a Fluke multimeter, and opted to stay with the DAC1.
Brilliant, thanks for your nice story, with a happy ending. How did you like the Anedio D2?