Better Sound by Jim Smith is a great place to start.
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You are sooo right! I used to buy all my friends hi-end gear for half price for YRS...but it was a "Never ending" process that got me caught up in the thought process of-"the more expensive the unit- the more better it HAS to sound!!" But I found out thru the years, that its not totally true....so I want to just enjoy what I have instead of searching "out there" for more.
To further your interest I'd suggest you further you education; pick up Dr Floyd Toole's book and as one guy said, it's like the bible in that you'll want to read it again and again to get more and more out of it.
Also check out Toole's protégée Dr. Sean Olive who has a most interesting blog of ongoing research projects at Harman Int'l found here: http://seanolive.blogspot.com/
Lastly, no book list would be complete without F. Alton Everest's book "Master Handbook of Acoustics"