I also have an MCD751. I run it into an Esoteric D70 DAC. You might be able to find one in your price range.
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Apogee Rosetta 200 or Apogee mini dac at half price if you dont need AD conversion. With fireware card also opens the door for the (present) future. Dac made for pro studio purposes. As it was made for the pro market, one could be sure that price is in line with sound quality. Very detailed dynamic sound reportedly with somewhat warmer presentation than the Benchmark. Accepts signals up to 24/192.
Haven't heard an Esoteric X-03, but I had a Bel Canto DAC3VB in my system for a while and it was to say the least excellent (if I could've afforded it, it would still be here). It's very good on its own, but with the VBS power supply it goes to another level entirely. Transparency, micro/macro dynamics, 3D soundstaging, tonal nuance, and a quiet backdrop are among its strengths. If you can find one used it might be in your price range, and it's hard to think you'd be disappointed. Best of luck.
Just noticed this post was from 2008. Ugh.