So do you think I'd have been better going for something like the HD650? I know that's a popular choice but I've never really enjoyed the Sennheiser sound. I did consider Beyer's DT880 in 600ohm guise but I don't think I'd get away with using the E18 as an interim amp. Hi-fi man's range may be good but I know little about them and sourcing them is not easy.
I'm on your side. I'm not that big a fan of Sennheiser sound. Never have been. It doesn't sound bad. Just doesn't excite me.
You could have gotten the DT880 Pro 250. That your amp should have handled fine. I found the DT880s to be more clinical/analytical than the Q701s and with a much smaller soundstage.
But no sense second guessing yourself. You have the Q701s on order. Demoing good headphones are fun, even if you don't end up keeping them. It's like trying a nice wine. You can enjoy the experience even if it's not the one you want to buy two cases of