This may be hard to explain correctly, and without offending, but as someone who is standing on the outside with one toe into the audiophile community, I must express a (hopefully) misconception that I cannot help but form as I read through these and other hi-fi forums.
Basically, it appears that audiophiles don't actually like music - as in the music itself. Rather, they like the delivery and experience of sounds, with a focus on how they are hearing something and not what they are hearing. I'm sorry, but you could spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a system and you may be hearing Nora Jones' voice as if she were in the room. But at the end of the day its....Nora Jones. I use her as an example, not that I dislike her specifically, but she screams of that sterile, boring, reference point voice. (Here is a woman singing a song. My system replicates that better than yours). It is like the music is one variable in a long equation.
For example, I recently watched a video on YouTube where a guy walked the viewers through his system piece by piece and it was just so incredibly cool. From the furniture in the room to the chair to the ambiance of the space. Finally, he gave a quick tour of his vinyl collection. It was all soundtracks and reference material that was purchased for no other reason than to showcase a particular ability of his system. There was not one "real" album. I nearly fainted. All this.....for that?
Now, I am sure this is what the response (if any) to this will be. "This is a forum about equipment, not about music. What you're saying is equivalent to going to a Calloway message board and wondering why the people are talking about golf clubs and not about their love for golf." I'll counter that by saying that in a situation like that you can still tell that their equipment is helping them get closer to their best game of a game they love. I don't feel the love for music here.
Personally, I hope it starts with the music, And not the music that has the ability of "sounding" the best or that was recorded the best but the music you love. I totally understand a quest to start with that music and spend your whole life finding the equipment that helps you hear that in a way that is best for you. I hope when you get new equipment you want to go back and listen to all your favorite albums and find small pieces that you never heard before, rather than wanting to go out and buy new albums with a better range.
I am a consultant and have the good fortune to be able to listen to music while I work all day. I listen to at least 5-6 hours of music a day. That feeling of discovery, of hearing something for the first time and absolutely knowing that it could change your life. That album that you buy for $15 and then wouldn't give up for $1,000. Is the audiophile world the extension of that? Or the opposite of that? Are most kids with earbuds and beats having a better listening experience than you? I hope not.
BONUS QUESTION - Is there one album that you would willingly sacrifice your entire system for if the alternative was never listening to that album again? If so what is it?