Inner Ear Report : 4 systems with synergy.

I went by a newstand today and noticed The Inner Ear hifi mag had an article on 4 systems.

The third least expensive system was roughly $11K and tittled "Budget Highend System" or something along those lines. The list of equipment included Exposure pre/amp combo, audio aero source among other things.

My question is for everybody to chime in on what you would build for a friend, family, yourself perhaps if you had to do it all over again. How much to spend on "true high end sound"? Can it be done cheaper? What would your speakers be? Let's assume the room is 15x11 and musical tastes range from Electronic, jazz, Rock, Alt rock, pop...
The million dollar question "if we had it to do over again" hmmmm might be depressing for some lol.
I know I could have made alot better choices knowing then what I know now, but thats life, hind sight is everywhere
Buying new?

Fab Audio Stonehenge speakers ($4000)
Welborne Labs DRD300B amps ($2500)
Morrison ELAD preamp ($800)
Audio Note CDT One/II Transport ($2200)
Audio Note DAC 2.1x ($2775)
TG Audio HSR High Purity interconnect ($800)
TG Audio HSR Speaker Cable (6 foot) ($600)
4 TG Audio SLVR power cords ($2000)

For a grand total of around $15,500 you get a system that will run with the big dogs. And I'd guarantee both the synergy and the musicality.
$11k is considered a "Budget Highend System"? Who's budget is this - Bill Gates? A budget system for most audiophiles I would think is around $3k, at least in my demented mind. My system:

Hyperion 938 speakers ($4500 retail, but can be had between $3500-4000 after dealer discount).
Jungson 88D Luxury Edition Integrated Amp ($1500, the smoothest class A SS amp I've ever heard, but soon to go up to $2000-$2500 as Jungson now has a US distributor)
Eastsound E5 CE CD Player ($710 for a CDP with discrete class A output, TCCO clock, Wima caps in PS, etc from Hong Kong via, comes with highend silver powercord from Analogue Research)
Crystal Clear Studio Reference Silver Speaker Cable ($350 when I bought them a year ago, price has gone up significantly)
Crystal Clear Studio Reference Silver IC ($200, price has gone up)

Total: About $6300 for my "super budget" rig by IER criteria.

All my electronics and speakers are from China, pretty much the best China has to offer at the moment. It is the best sound I have ever obtained in my 20 years in this hobby. I used to own Maggies, Apogees, stats, Threshold electronics, Audible Illusion preamp, etc.