Importing from England

I'm interested in buying a new DAC that's substantially cheaper in England, where it is made, than in the US. I would be buying it from a manufacturer-licensed dealer.

The DAC costs about 800 British pounds without VAT tax. The VAT tax is not charged if you ship the item internationally. If you buy it in person, you can claim a VAT rebate before you leave the country.

My question:
Are their significant customs charges/fees that would be due when this item is brought into the US (either via an international shipper or in my carry-on baggage)?

I'm hoping to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
I've brought many items from the UK (Scotland) and had them shipped to the USA. Customs charges are about 3% if you do the transaction through UPS Shipping is also an extra expense. Overall, I saved about 20%, after Visa fees. So, if you buy for shipment, use UPS as the carrier.
talk to your seller. he, or she, will offer you different options. if time isn't an issue, have your seller include it in a shipment to the states. once it gets here, the distributor can ship it to you. there are many ways to go about this. ask the seller.
When I received some new electronics in the US shipped from the UK I was responsible for several fees. In addition to the assessed duty and brokerage fees that were due upon delivery, several months later I got a sizable bill for taxes due. It's hard to know exactly what charges to expect, and it seems to vary with different shipping companies. These packages were shipped by FedEx. As always, YMMV.
Bill_k - I'm curious what % of your purchase price the large tax bill was and who did the charging. An unexpected bill could make the transaction less worthwhile.

Would I be subject to the same taxes if I bought the goods myself in England and carried them back with me to the US? Of course, I'd be declaring them at the border.
The tax bill received from the government was for the current sales tax rate at the time. If I recall correctly they referred to it as "usage tax". I would expect the tax to be the same if you bring it in yourself, but I have no direct experience with that scenario.
I recently received a piece of raw audio cable (unterminated) from the UK by FedEx. A week or two later I received a FedEx bill for tax plus a $10 FedEx service fee for collecting the tax. Same experience with UPS.

Over the years I have received many parcels from the UK by Royal Mail/USPS and have never paid any tax. If this is possible this is my favored method from a tax standpoint.
Just my two cents, YMMV.