I know exactly what you mean. I have season tickets to the Austin symphony, and find that cymbals among other treble sounds are hardest to get right in reproduction. A fine cymbal shimmer is a make or break noise for me when judging a setup. Not because it's a wonderful sound, but just because it's so easy to pick out as close to real or not.
Treble is a tough nut to crack in headphones. A lot of that energy in the signal is supposed to dissipate and interact with other sound waves. When we wear headphones we're throwing these high frequency waves right into our ear canals, which I believe leads to many of the treble issues we have when compared to speaker or live listening.
On a semi-maybe related note, I thought I had a treble fatigue issue for a very long time until I realized it was a sound stage issue. My brain gets really tired of listening to music that doesn't sound like it's coming from outside my own head. Like any person with working ears, I still hate harsh treble, but I don't find it as fatiguing as I once thought I did.
Edited by TWIFOSP - 1/3/13 at 1:21pm