To return to the original premise of this thread, I would make a few observations. When I was young (early 20s) fifty years ago, I had a component system that was primarily a vinyl 2channel with a R2R as well. It was a time of great releases in the late 60s, early 70s. My cohort of friends loved music and thought my modest system at the time was terrific. We enjoyed the music, loud and often.
No one complained about room treatments or cabling. There was no worry about the soundstage, etc. We lived and reveled in the music. It was perhaps Mid Fi by the standards of the day. The cost was with the reach of my SGT when in the Army.
Fast forward to today. I own a reasonable system, probably the cost of a Honda Accord when it was assembled. Does it please me more than my first one? Not really. I get that it is better, but it gives me no more joy than the first one.
High end has become the quest for the last 2% of performance and those chasing often lose sight of the music in their quest. I would suggest that a satisfactory system can be assembled and enjoyed by the average person. To me, all the fuss is like watching a Ferrari owner and a Bentley owner argue about why their car is better.
For the financial guys here, marginal cost versus marginal return. High end is way too far out there for me on exorbitant cost versus very small returns.