Also: This is a desktop version of the GEEK:
Ignore the stupid marketing lingo, this thing is the real deal according to a lot of folks I respect. Or rather the USB version, the "GEEK Out," is. This little desktop DAC and amp combo should be even better.
Just to give you a frame of reference, Light Harmonic---the dudes designing the GEEK---also designed a $20k DAC called the DaVinci. A friend of mine said something to the effect of: "I don't want to hype this thing, but I was surprised to hear similarities between the nuances of the GEEK and the DaVinci." Which probably means the DaVinci is overpriced just as much as the GEEK is underpriced, but somewhere in the middle lies really nice audio.
I mean, the GEEK Pulse feeding a Schiit Vali seems like a pretty awesome desktop rig potentially for under $400. Between this combo and the all-in-one Cavalli portable, there's some amazing sounding gear coming out well below the $1k mark.