Help with new system

I'm starting a new 2ch system that I will be running out of an iMac. I was wondering if I could gather some opinions on what to use (can't audition everything, want to narrow it down to a few finalists first). Obviously I'd like every part of the freq. range to sound good, but I am looking for a sound with smooth treble (but not veiled) that is not over super detailed/sharp, punchy bass, and in general a cleaner sound instead of something warmer and more colored.

Speakers: I have decided on Ascend Sierra-1's

Integrated Amp Shortlist:
Creek Evolution 2
Bada DC-222
Audiolab 8200a
Cambridge Audio Azur 651a
Musical Fidelity M3i

DAC Shortlist:
Schiit Bifrost
Cambridge Audio DACMagic+
Audiolab M-DAC
Musical Fidelity V-DAC

Out of the amps, I have seen that both M3i and 8200a require careful system matching or they could sound overly forward/sharp. Out of the listed components, what would they best be matched with. I like the tube customization of the Bada, but am not sure if the tubes would fit my sound tastes.

For the DAC's, the M-DAC is the most expensive, but also seems to be the most well liked. I have read that it also can have a more forward sound.

Any opinions on the listed items would be great. Any additional recommendations would also be welcome.
Have you considered the Peachtree Nova? Integrated amp with award winning internal ESS Sabre DAC.
On your short list of integrateds, I'd encourage you to look at two: The Creek and the Cambridge Audio. Creek amps are the epitomy of the "British Sound", meaning they tend to be very neutral and clean. Cambridge Audio equipment (I have some of their separates) tends to be very well designed and flexible -- it's a hub around which you can build a system and upgrade elements over time, finally upgrading to a better preamp/amp combo when you are ready. It also has a built-in USB port and its own built-in DAC, as I understand it, so you wouldn't have to buy a separate DAC.

I am not familiar with any of the DACs you list, but I have a Schiit Valhalla headphone amp. Based on my experience with that unit, I'd take a close look at the Bifrost -- Schiit equipment seems to be very well designed, and it is made here in the U.S., which is a plus, IMHO. Also, they offer a two week trial period, so if you don't like it, you can send it back.
Have you considered pro DACs such as Lavry or Mytek that has the latest digital technologies with superior headphone amp?
I'm not making a recommendation, but...

Cambridge dealers are selling their stuff at about half price, as they're rolling out a new line.
I have had several integrated amps that were priced right around the ones you have listed above. For sound quality, the Creek beat them all easily. It is extremely well balanced. Its one of those components that you can just listen to all day and never get tired of it. One big advantage it has over most other amps in this price range is that it uses a passive preamp. My personal opinion is that if you can't get a really good preamp then just don't use one. For me, the cutoff is right around $3000 retail. I think at that point, an active unit can sound better. Please remember, though, that this is just what I think. I haven't heard everything out there so there may be some great sounding be preamps that drop well below my cutoff that I just don't have any experience with. Also, you are absolutely correct in your assessment on some of the units above being harsh and/or extremely sensitive to matching components. I have had the same experience myself.
I purchased the Exposure 2010S integrated amp after the excellent reviews in Stereophile ( I have been very happy with the clean, neutral sound across all frequencies.
I don't know if you're still looking for a decent DAC but you really should take a look at the Schiit Bifrost. I've had mine for only 2 days now and I'm really impressed. For the money, and with a 15 day trial/return policy (with 5% restocking fee) it's a no brainer.
Check out the reviews as well like this one:
I own an Audiolab integrated amp that is used in a HT set up.It does have a rough treble, not good for music.I believe that is their "house sound" from reading reviews of other Audiolab products.It does have excellent punchy bass and I don't notice the grain in my lo rez HT.I don't think you would enjoy it in a higher end music system.Best of luck in your search.
Get a factory (MD) modded Jolida...inexpensive and sound amazing.
Wow that's a great line up of alternative set-ups, true the Audiolab kit can sound a little bright, but the Audiolab 8200a integrated amp is a powerful and well equipped amp for the money, so that would be my choice - partner with speaker cables that won't exaggerate the treble register and you should be in audio heaven.
Theres a creek evolution on my local c-list for $575. He says its brand new and it looks like it to me. Original box, manual, packing shtuff; looks mint. Not sure if this is a good price or if there is an evolution 1 and 2 and if so, not sure which this is.

Just throwing that out there. If you want the guys contact info pm me.