Hi guys, thank you all for your responses (and thank you Mt10425/David for a very pleasant and informative conversation today; I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me). To give a few answers:
As for eBay, it isn't so much it 'has' to be eBay as it seemed like I could possibly find some good deals there. I've got two newborns, just finishing a house renovation, and have managed to squeeze out a little money to buy a couple of modestly priced (for me) pieces to finish my attic/music only system. Unfortunately, that has left me well and truly tapped and the cables were the last thing to get attention. That's why I've been scrounging for a deal and, hence, the eBay fetish. However, I'm not beholden to them (I hope not anyway... If the eBay police come we'll know that I am, in fact, beholden to the eBay behemoth :)
I have to admit that until you guys mentioned single crystal copper I never heard of or noticed it before. I've been aware of types of high quality copper, silver cables, and I think there is something like silver plated copper (or maybe I have that wrong). Silver cables are expensive, so I have no doubt that CC Silver would be WAY beyond my budget (and if I did buy them I'd simply have to sell them again to afford a divorce lawyer, so I guess I'll skip them).
This all brings up some other questions I've had, if you all don't mind. Out of curiosity, do silver cables/terminations tarnish? I would think so. Does that have an effect on sound quality? And why is it that it seems like whenever I see a silver cable--not that I've seen many--they are always the thinnest little things you can imagine and have what appears to be absolutely no shielding?
Btw, I will also check out harmonic tech and acoustic zen cables. Thanks Vhiner.
Notwithstanding to moderators: if you read any of the three threads I've got on this subject, could you combine them? I didn't mean to start my own quasi-sub-forum on my cable curiosities. Thanks!