Pros : some look like the USS Enterprise, and go great with Duevel speakers
Cons : maintenance can be a pain - if the arm is off you're in trouble, it can even scratch up the vinyl more than what you'd get in normal use; I'm not even a fan of Rice Krispies is for breakfast, certainly not for audio (Snap, Crackle, and Pop); vinyl takes up too much space, get enough moisture and you can lose them within your lifetime; on the upside, if you have the tools, they're actually easier to maintain than CDPs unless you blow your money on fancy tonearms and other parts
Pros : no Rice Krispies elves getting in the way of the music, discs last longer - storm can crash the roof and get your discs wet, but throw out the cover and other paper parts and dry the discs, and they'll probably work again
Cons : transport can fail on you in a relatively short time - I've had some fail on me in one way or another and buying a new laser or new transport isn't as straightforward as replacing a tone arm, not to mention you can get a decent $100 tonearm but an entire transport is around $300 (top loaders I imagine would be easier to maintain, but with the exception of the Sony Playstation, are more expensive)
ex. total failure on a friend's NAD C520; from my own, an old Onkyo flagship stopped reading discs; Marantz CD60 stopped reading CD-Rs and can't read new CDs with PC content for some reason, but reads PCM layer on SACDs just fine, also the tray mechanism broke twice on me; Sony SCD-595 stopped reading SACDs but reads regular CDs (not CD-Rs); Pioneer DV676 or something slowed down disc reads; old Alpine CD receiver stopped spitting out CDs...
iPod(+digital transport), or similar
Pros : no need to swap out discs
Cons : on a speaker system, not swapping out discs is off set by having to walk over to the iPod because you can't see the screen, much less navigate 160gb of music, unless you have your HT in the same room )and hook it up to the TV)
Pros : Can be technically free - you already have it for other needs, so you have a free transport lying around already; DACs will outlive several of them unless you are perpetually afflicted with SARS (Severe Audio Replacement Syndrome; also known as upgraditis); you won't have to swap out discs
Cons : conventional computers take longer to boot up, power supply wastes a lot of power; some people get around this waste by working on the computer while listening but personally I still prefer some of my listening with no distractions
Pros : tehcnically free, particularly a smartphone, which you need for something else; battery-powered; SD cards and/or wireless drives, on some devices (with the port on the bottom) cable management can be good, can be a pain otherwise; UI looks nice, works well too
Cons : limited storage, wireless storage may not work with uncompressed audio and not all player apps have it (usually iTunes and the stock player apps)
Music server, or headless Android mini-PC/Mac Mini
Pros : no need to swap out discs, theoretically limitless storage potential with NAS and streaming, less power consumption than regular computers, better cable management than laptops (with USB ports on the sides), remote control apps for smartphones and tablets that give you the same UI as a player using local storage on the same device
Cons : not plug and play, can be too complex to set-up if you're not tech savvy, and choices limited if you need a local hi-fi shop to set it up (many manufacturers are coming out with these nowadays)
All things considered the newest ones tend to be the best, so I'm going to go with the music server. Still saving up for one.
I like your viewpoint on vinyl. You didn't bash on it yet you did point out its flaws which, even though I am a vinyl guy myself, are true. You sound more like a digital person, which I respect because digital is, with no argument, more convenient in regards to portability, versatility, and ease of use.
But I do want to note on what you said about noise when it comes to vinyl, more specifically pops and clicks. True, vinyl is known for having a lower SNR because of things like pops and clicks, but you have to remember: vinyl that has been properly taken care of can be DEAD quiet. I'm talking absolutely no pops or clicks. Just pure sound; exactly like CD.
I like vinyl because it's sound quality, nostalgia, and its inherent need of maintenance. It's like having a real piece of equipment. Not just pressing play on iTunes or a phone/mobile device. It's got soul if you know what I mean. I know it sounds cheesy but you can actually and literally hold the music in your hands. The actual wave form of your music engraved on a piece of plastic. It has an attribute of seeming permanent, robust. That's why I love it =)