Ok here's an update: so after all the soul searching, indecisions and hair pulling, I have finally made the decision (quite unexpectedly) and made a start on my final system.
I have purchased the AURALiC Vega ..... It gets delivered next week!
The AURALiC Taurus mkII and the Vega were on my list from time to time but I kept taking off them due to the high price. I really wanted this combo as the reviews have been nothing but stellar, but the cost kept forcing me to look elsewhere.
Well my luck changed and I was extremely fortunate to receive an unexpected cash injection a few days ago. At the same time I happen to come across an offer on a 2 week old ex-demo Vega (box was opened to demo to a customer) at a good discounted price (£500 off!).
Taking that as a sign, I immediately purchased it as I don't think this kind of offer comes round that often. Sadly my funds didn't allow me to purchase a Taurus at the same time. That will have to wait for another 4 or 5 months.
In the meantime I still need an amplifier to use in the absence of the Taurus. Not wanting to spend too much, I have ordered a Schiit Vali. It's very affordable and I think it will "do" for a few months.
It took a while ... a long while ... but I'm finally (almost) there. I have a great source to start me off and a well priced, decent quality amp to use it with. Eventually when I get the Taurus mkII, my journey will be complete.......... as far as getting a good system goes of course.
I wouldn't mind adding 1 or 2 more headphone(s)to my collection in the future. Maybe a HiFiMan HE-6 and/or a Sennheiser HD800???
But that will be another story ..... :)
I'd like to thank everybody who took the time to help and advice me over these months. It was all really appreciated and I'm grateful for it.