Best way from hard drive to DAC?

I'd like to be able to play my ripped (ALAC lossless) CDs on high-quality headphones and speakers using an external DAC and amp. Most likely I'll use a Sonos player with digital audio out as an input source to the DAC.

From what I've read it appears external DACs kind of fell out of favor due to the problems with jitter (apparently integrated CDPs can deal with this much easier). Obviously, for music stored on a hard drive I don't have much choice but an external DAC unless perhaps one built into a sound card (but I'd really prefer to use the Sonos for convenience).

How are you guys dealing with this?

I have a newer Creative Audigy 2 soundcard with coaxial digital out that gets sent to a CAL Gamma DAC, which goes into an Accuphase P-300 Amp (I use the amp as a preamp) driving Studio 20s. I like the sound. i figure the PC is a hostle place for analog audio, so I get the signal out in digital form and let the DAC handle the rest.

My weak link may be the sound card. Audiophiles think highly of M-Audio. My Audigy2 is fully gold plated and they seem to have done an excellent job with noise, overall sound quality, build quality, etc. Plus, I think their support is pretty decent with constant software patches, upgrades, etc. Claimed to have 24/96 capability as well if you prefer to let the card do the number crunching. Hope this helps.
Go to the Empirical Audio website. Lots of great information and Steve Nugent is a great resource that can assist you in what you're trying to do.
i've been looking into the benchmark dac with volume pot.

However, here is a great source of exactly the kind of info you're looking for:

This link for wavelength audio tells you all you need to know including how to set up your computer as a transport and using a palm pilot as a remote control!

I think that the end of transports may be least in my system the end has come already