Are you open to a modded player? The Toshiba 4960 provides a great, inexpensive platform, and can be modded (mine was done by Reference Audio Mods--RAM, but EVS and Red Wine Audio also do some nice mods to this unit) into a really fine SACD/CD player.
I doubt you can touch it in performance anywhere near the price, since you're not paying for the dealer, distributor, etc, mark-ups--just for the guy doing the work. Most of the built-to-a-price units, and especially the Japanese units, use cheap parts (caps, clocks, bridges, etc) that really choke the sonics. Replacing them with quality parts can open up a new musical world at a price the big boys just can't compete with.
I've got a $800 and a $1100 CD player, and a $1100 DAC that aren't nearly as refined on CD, and SACD on this is absolutely pristine.
Some question putting that much into an inexpensive unit, but I'd rather put my money where it counts.