I disagree. F%*$ "the journey", which is really just consumerism disguised by music enjoyment. You're better off getting something you'll like, and just enjoying it instead of buying tons of mediocre products and getting sidetracked and obsessed with the gear/consumer side of music. If he can afford an LCD-2, he should just get it, who cares if he doesn't wind up appreciating it as much as you would after struggling through crap gear for years and saving up. He'll get to know the goodness it offers in time, or better yet, it will be good enough that it will never get in the way, and he can just enjoy his tunes and forget about the gear.
It's funny, but in this case paying more like this could lead to less consumerism. Of course, he could just be buying it for the status of an expensive phone. But in the end, is that any shallower than the gear junkie with 20 pairs of crappy 100 dollar phones?
Also, I know some very knowledgable people who do not like the K3003. Sounds like he wanted nothing but a status symbol, but I'm just saying.
Just a thought
And yes, I agree to your whole idea of consumerism. But let's be honest here, it's because of consumerism we have the forum Head-Fi with lots of sponsors who lead this "consumerism" and without these companies and sponsors we wouldn't really have this large of a community. But as the world turns, there are always going to be different thoughts and opinions and this was my chance to contribute some of my opinions about my ways of enjoying Head-Fi related stuff. I appreciate your thoughts and I hope you appreciate mine, even though you disagree with what I have to say.
Also, I am one of those people who doesn't like the K3003i. Instead, I found the PFE232s to be better.