Have you crossed over?

Sitting here tonight and listening to some favorite music I got thinking about what has happened to me recently. I am now enjoying the listening process much better than before. I have "crossed over" from the dark side where we tend to get stuck
adjusting our gear or buying more and better gear. For me this is a real and dramatic experience. I have had an ok rig for years starting with mid-fi equipt in the late 60's.
More recently I have been able to assemble much better sounding equipment that works well together. The difference is the difference.
For those of you stuck on the carousel of gear there is hope of getting off.
How did I do it? Two things come to mind. My audio buddies and Audiogon. I formed my second audio club in 2007. We have 6 members including myself. We meet monthly and move around among members rigs. Everyone is trying to make the most of what they have and are willing to tell you what they think of your sound. If you want this kind of help it can be critical but, in the end it can get you where you need to be. Don't take advice from people who have crappy sounding setups.
The club got started by posing here on Audiogon seeking some locals with nice systems and a love for music.
I have also made friends with some members of another club about 90 miles away. Once you get some audio friends they know other audiophiles that can get involved in listening to your system. Why reinvent the wheel? Learn for those who have tried many tweaks before.
I enjoy vinyl and cds. One of our guys has a nice reel to reel and I like that too. I can play cds and enjoy them just as much as good vinyl.
So for now I am enjoying the music very much. The main problems I deal with these days are poor quality recordings, bad pressings, crappy engineering etc.
the recent improvements are allowing me to play music that I thought was not up to par only to discover that much of it is up to par!
I will say that much has been done on getting my room dialed in with speaker placement, sound absorption, bass traps, diffusion panels, furnishings etc. That is critical.
Now back to the music !
Yes, I too have experienced what you are talking about. I agree that your friends can be really helpful in getting the sound right. I think if you can find an audio mentor that can save a lot of time and frustration.