_mike, I wouldn't vote for Sony SCD-1 or 777ES. The Marantz SA-14 would be more preferable, IMO, due to its nice transport, dual mono CS4397 Crystal (Cirrus Logic) DACs and discrete HDAM output circuits. Especially with minor clock/capacitor upgrades (I do not offer such) the SA-14 can be a really good performer.
SA-10 features dual mono configuration of the latest flagship Crystal CS4398 DACs which are much more advanced compared to the older CS4397, this applies to both CD and SACD processing. The transport, digital signal processing and power supply in the Esoteric SA-10 is also superb. So I guess that would be the price point where both CD and SACD start to shine in such a player.