I was considerably less than impressed with the Benchmark. I ultimately sold mine because it simply did not present music in a rhythmically musical fashion. It was mostly clear (not entirely though), relatively detailed, dynamic and extended. These are the strong points. The not-so-strong points are that it presents music in a somewhat "bleached" manner. The music was missing harmonic richness, the reach-out-and-touch-me sound, the ebb flow one might say. Music always sounded as if was coming out of a glass plate (though clean) that was reasonably wide, and high, but only several inches thick, or deep. Hence my comment about two dimensionality.
I did not find the dac1 to be as affable as the Bel Canto Dac1 (or 2), the Jolida JD-100, or a dcs Elgar/Purcell rig - all of which I had on hand or, own.
Keep in mind that subjective opinions are just that - subjective. So what one likes another may not like. Take is all with a grain of salt. And, as always, try to audition a product before you commit your bucks.
But you asked about cheap dacs - yes. I would go for one of the popular modified Toshiba's or Pioneer's or Sony's that seem to be in vogue today. I have heard some of these and they sound quite good. The Toshiba 3960 sells for $69 in BB and the modification can be done yourself. Or, there is an outfit on Audiogon advertising the units complete for approx. $200. And, you are getting an entire player, not just a dac.