Are DAC's overpriced?


External DAC's are pretty expensive imho... BUT I don't know that much on how to choose one. I want mostly cd's in my small two channel system... I am rebuilding after selling my Logans and Mac amp to go back to "drivers"! The Logans wore me out with Maintenance.  Should I buy a new cd player or get a new DAC for my old player?  
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I remember when affordable DACs like Audio Alchemy and Theta Chrome were popular, the average blue collar guy like myself could afford one.   I had several early DACs and most were pretty good...at least better than the average decent CD player at the time.  There were always killer dacs like dcs and MSB among others but then DACs fell out of fashion....

My first DAC was an Audio Alchemy 1.1 , shortly after that I bought a like new California Audio Labs Alpha for half price.  It was a great DAC but like a fool I sold it.   I've had a few others si ce and my current DAC is a NAD M51 which still sou ds pretty damn good.   

I was blown away at the quality of MQA streams through my Bluesound Vault 2i, it's hard to say what sounds better, the M51 decoding the 24/96 stream or the player unfolding MQA but for most MQA I've listened to sounded better than it's redbook version....  not that I'm in the market for a new DAC but one thing is for sure, I'm not replacing the NAD until DACs with dsd and MQA are mainstream and somewhat within reach. 
The average blue collar guy can buy a Schiit Modi for $99.  I did.
Interesting you brought up MSB. I have a Full Nelson Gold. Also added a magic tandem PLL in it, and over the past few weeks built God's own (with apologies to God) external power supply - which made a big difference. That thing is still competitive.
G
I used to think DACs made little difference until I tried the Chord DAVE. Whether it's overpriced... well, that comes down to your own financial situation as ultimately value is subjective and cost is relative.
mrkoven-
Can you provide more context on your system, room, listening method, expectations, and findings?
I'll note that discussing the DAVE int he context of budget DACs is kinda silly.... but its nice that you can try such things. I like the qutest a lot.

G
Man, the reply’s here are all over the place. After 40 years of the high end and also working for dealers and hearing everything out there, it doesn’t take long for me to decide to buy when I hear something great without the several thousand dollar price tag. 
My advice in your case is for to you to buy a really good value used stand alone CD player like Rega Apollo and start there.
If you want to play computer audio files, then you will need a DAC. Chord Hugo 2 and Ayre Codex are excellent value and sound and both available used this week on AudioGon for less than $2K. So far,  I have not heard a below $1000 retail DAC that I would buy.
I also find that tube output stages sound a lot more like live music than anything else. Wavelength DACS are wonderful in their musicality and soundstage. 
If you are buying retail through a local dealer, they should allow you to try at home before you buy, or pay for it and return it in a week if not wanted.