Blue Circle USB Thingee, $169.
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I actually did consider the Blue Circle Thingee (as ugly as it is), but I don't want to use USB powered DAC's because I think it'll compromise the sound. It would be so much easier if I could go up a price level as there seems to be more uniform opinions on great DAC's (Benchmark, Bel Canto, Musical Fidelity, Channel Islands, etc.). Considering the $200 price level, there might not even be any clear 2-3 winners. I am leaning though toward the E-mu or the Adcom, but I'm not sure.
On a side note, does anyone know how much one should technically spend percentage-wise on each piece of equipment? Speakers: Amp: DAC? I'm kind of curious about that.