Your Quote: "Its 2008, you think it takes $10k to get top knotch cd sound?"
My Answer: My answer is NO. While a few years ago, it may have taken at least several thousands of dollars (and yeah...... even up to $10K) to get top notch CD/Digital Sound. Now, today??? That's no longer the case. While my aging Meridian 508.24 (which was a $4K player when it was new...... I got it for about $1,600.00 a few years ago as a used player) is still kicking right now and so forth. But when it finally dies, you think I am going to spend $1,500.00 on it's replacement??? No sir(ee). If and when I finally do replace my Meridian, it's probably going to be with either a Marantz CD-5003 (about $350.00) or an Arcam's new FMJ CD Player (which I understand, will cost no more than $600.00 or $700.00 when it finally hits the states).
Right now...... I got a Wadia i-Transport 170 i-Pod Docking Unit linked to a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic DAC. For a little over $1,000.00 (including an Apple i-Pod Classic (160 GB)), I got a digital playback system that crushes the hell out of my $4,000.00 Meridian 508.24. That's why spending more than $1,000.00 on a CD Player today is considered laughable by today's standards.
Today...... you can do well for a whole LOT less than that. My i-Pod/Wadia/Cambridge Audio Playback System proves that point convincingly.