If I have any dissatisfaction with the AD700s, it's that the highs can sometimes seem a little harsh, although in some cases I may be hearing the limitations of the recording or the digital format (I am ashamed to admit to still having MP3s in my library; hey, early adopter here!). In general I enjoy them very much, but like I'm pretty sure everyone reading this, I'm always looking for that next increment of sound quality.
I listen to a variety of music and like a balanced, transparent, well-imaged sound. Audio heaven for me is listening to a recording of a small acoustic group and being able to place the instruments relative to each other in a wide and deep 3d space. Hearing the squeak of fingers on the guitar fingerboard distinct from the strum back at the soundhole. That sort of thing.
Thinking of spending on the order of $200, but that's not at all a hard ceiling.
At that price point, I've identified the Grado SR225i, AKG K-601, Sennheiser HD598, and the ATH AD900 as candidates. I'd love to hear thoughts and ideas, regarding these and other options.
Thanks in advance for your input!