Check out the Sony 7700. There's one on Audiogon now for $250. Built like a tank. I have one and use it in my second system.
1) low jitter mearuements
The jitter spectra is just as important as the worst-case jitter
2) ability to output a true 75-ohms at the coaxial digital out
Very few transports actually have precise 75 ohms out.
3) should have a transformer at the digital out
Nice to have, but if it is not a grounded power cord, does not really matter. Should be a high-quality transformer.
4) should have a seperate laser dedicated to CD playback
This is the most significant difference. Only the Sony 7700 and 7000 I believe have separate lasers.
Thanks for the recommendations! I am currently using an NAD 512 CD Player as the transport, and due to space considerations, I want to move to a single box transport. I have been thinking about Phillips 963SA or 962SA. However, those cheap Pioneer universal players are tempting--if they are able to yield good sound. Any info on those?