You have done a good piece of thinking. It would be really great if your economic "value" model delivered a high level of satisfaction. Even if it does for you now, my bet is that if you stay with this hobby you will ultimately move to a more refined source...
If you spend any time reading these Forums and others out there, you will find broad consensus that the quality of the source determines the potential of the rest of a system. The logic is classic GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. That is to say, no matter how good the downstream part of your system is, it is ultimately limited by what is upstream from it. Which is why so much emphasis has always been put on the quality of the original recording and the source that brings it to your system.
Turning digits to analog signal is an incredibly complex undertaking involving a complex electro-optical-mechanical device. Simple engineering (Pinto vs BMW) tells us that a better box yields a better signal. Leave the CD out of it and simply consider (and if you can audition) the difference between the sound of a $89 DVD player and a high end Arcam or the like.
Like a fine wine, sound (in the form of an analog out in this case) is the sum of many parts. A cheap DVD player is less expensive because it makes compromises (compared to a higher end player regardless of format) in areas like the op amps, DAC, power supply, plugs, power cord and receptacle, transport, error correction, isolation, quality of feet, rigidity of the case etc.
While these things strike the casual observer as arcane or technical or trivial, in point of fact each of these is an area that is carefully scrutinized and tweaked by people in these Forums as they seek to perfect the sound of a given unit. This is the very essence of the audiophiles interest and obsession.
And if you think that this discussion verges on the wacky, wait till you check out a $100,000.00 record player... make that turntable LOL