Just wanted to post here to thank everyone in this thread (and others) for all of the commentary. A few years ago, I started trying to find the best earphone for me after fighting with junk for a long time. I tried the SE530 simply on reputation alone and was underwhelmed. I ultimately got the Klipsch S4 for cost/bang for the buck, despite being ready to shell out more money. After my latest trip, arriving home with irritated ears and a less than pleasant sound I finally decided to change earphones again. I started researching here and everywhere else. I don't really have anywhere near me to audition them, so I used what I knew I didn't like about what I have to narrow down my choices and arrive at what was essentially a coin flip. I very nearly bought a pair of SE215's but I was convinced there were better options. As I drifted to the SE425, I began to see more posts about Westone. I was particularly piqued by the comments about fit, and having the SE530, I remember them feeling too big for my ears. I ultimately was down to Westone exclusively, again, just based on what I was reading, and specifically to the W3 and UM3X or, if the deal was right maybe even a W4r. I couldn't find a good enough deal on the W4r and the more I read, the more I really started to like what I heard about the UM3X. Yesterday, I finally took the plunge and bought the most recent version, the UM Pro 30 off Amazon (fulfilled by Amazon to be sure, for warranty purposes).
These are AMAZING. Yes, they're flat, but in the most exquisite way. I primarily listen to classical, mainly film scores, and they just sound astounding right out of the box. My favorite demo track is from "E.T." - the farewell scene from the end of the movie and it just sparkles. I also immediately tried "The Mouth of Sauron" from the LOTR: Return of the King complete recordings and again, it was just amazing. I can see what people refer to when they say the soundstage is a bit narrow, but it works for me. I'm sure there are other earphones that sound better and/or cost more, but to my ears, these are perfect - and I haven't even really went through all of the tips yet to find the absolute best fit (using the small green foam one in one ear and black foam one in the other right now...just great so far.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for posting their comments about these things - if it weren't for this board and you folks, I probably would've ended up with another crappy pair from Best Buy or, heaven forbid, Bose.