Just got a E17 Alpen and when using on my Mac and setting the Mac to output 44.1 / 16 bit the E17 always says 48k on the display, if I switch the Mac to be 32 / 48 / 96 it shows up OK.
It does it on USB and Optical audio.
Mac running 10.7.5
E17 FW is FW00LE17EN
Does this happen with your E17 with a Mac?
Should it say 44.1 when feeding it 44.1