Aragon Soundstage...worth the extra ?

As an audiophile neophyte, I'm currently using the Acurus ACT-3 pre-pro, but I'm primarily a music lover. Music listening comprises about 90% of my system's use. My local high end dealer will accept my 7 month old Acurus for trade along with about $1,000 cash for a 1 year old Aragon Soundstage. I'm an avid acoustic jazz listener and my other primary equipment includes B&W 640i mains, Audio Research 100.2 SS amp (which I love!), Paradigm PS-1200 sub, Rotel RCD-971 CD Player, and Audio Research interconnencts. Does the Soundstage sound that much better than the Acurus in stereo? Is it worth the extra cheese? I hear the Aragon is more upgradeable. Will it take me into the future adequately? Oh, my dealer also swears by the Richard Gray Power Company. Any opinions on that too would be greatly appreciated?
I also had a an ACT-3 with the bass management chipset and traded up to the Soundstage. I used it both for music and HT and was well satisfied. Also an avid jazz fan and the 2 channel sound with the Sounstage was quite good and more than a few steps better than the ACT-3. Hope this helps
I've always felt that the Soundstage was a very under-rated unit. The analog pass through is a big plus for 2-channel music.

Since the model is no longer being produced, I would check with Aragon to verify the extent to which it can be upgraded, if that is an important consideration in your purchasing decision.

I use two Richard Grays and like them, but I haven't used some of the competition so I can't give you comparasions.
Here's a different approach and there's opposing opinions on this, but have you considered purchasing a high end CD player with volume control and plugging it directly to the amp without going through the preamp? I own the Soundstage, but I plug my CAL CL-15 directly to the amp. The Soundstage is a good HT processor but it still has its own sonic characteristics. My philosophy is why have the signal from your CD player go through another piece of equipment (Pre-amp) and then to the amp. No matter how good the preamp is it will still add it's own sound to the signal. There were threads on this issue a while back and you can probably do a search. In my opinion this may be a better solution if you are 90% into music.
Good post P mmk! By coincidence, I auditioned the CAL CL-15 and hooked it up directly to the Audio Research. It sounded very, very good. But, there were 2 problems: 1) It was 2 and half times the cost of the Rotel, and 2) I would have practically given up the flexibility of using the 100.2 and the B&W's in the HT setup. My dealer described a complex (for me that is) way integrating everything together, but it would have involved additional external components like a Niles switcher or the like that may have nullified the benefit of the CL-15. So, for ease of operation and cost considerations, I opted for the Rotel. And hey, the Rotel is no slouch! It held its own fairly well in direct comparison to the CAL. My HT amp is an older and not too spectacular 5 channel Adcom GFA-6000. How do you (or do you?)incorporate your main speakers into you HT set up?
Well I don't know what affect this has on sound quality or if I am in danger of blowing up my system but... The Soundstage has balanced inputs and so does my amp. So what I did was have the amp connected to my Soundstage via balanced inputs and the CAL via RCA inputs. I guess with the ACT 3 it wouldn't work due to the lack of balanced inputs. For me it made no difference in sound and after 2 years nothing exploded...yet.
I owned a Chiro C-800 (with C5.1) and did enjoy that setup very much. However, I am enjoying the Soundstage tremendously. My 2-channel/HT listening time is split 70/30. For me, there is no comparison with the 2 channel sound produced by the Soundstage vs. the Chiro. It is harder for me to compare the 5.1 sound since there is so much else going on.

I can't see you not loving the Soundstage. I do.