I finally broke down and got this after it has seemed to go down to $299 retail. I don't have any other MP3 players, so I can't compare, but I must say I like the sound from it using both Grado SR325's and Koss KSC-35's. I somehow thought the amp would be a little more powerful after everything I've read, but it really just barely makes the cut for the 35's (usually put the volume at 20/25, 16/25 for the Grados). It's still better than what a current PCDP puts out, and I'm more than happy...I was just expecting more. The good thing is that at the 20/25 volume level, the sound is still clear. Once you get above 22, it can get a little distorted. The interface definitely leaves a little to be desired, and it's a worthwhile investment to get the Notmad software instead of the software that comes with the player. I listen to MP3's encoded with LAME with the alt-preset extreme setting, and I must say even with the Grados, which are very revealing, it's VERY close to the source CD quality. I would bet this thing pairs pretty well with a amp. I'll post some more thoughts after a few more days.