Let my try a theory. There are two very related, but still independent hobbies: (1) listening/loving music, (2) audio gear.
There are those who like both equally. Those folk are rare. There are people who like one side much more than the other. I'd venture that people who love music but not audio gear are not present in this forum. :-) But they do exist out there. :-)
Anyhow, this is relevant for the question posed: "audio nirvana". Although gear can definitely help and enhance, "nirvana" is actually in the music. :-)
BTW, this dialectic is the same in the camera vs photography world. Music vs. audio is just more "flanboyant" and beautiful.
I love listening to music, and like playing with audio gear. I think some people here (not everyone) get obsessive and listen to the gear and not the music....I will never be that guy.