I've owned the SCD-1 for the last few years and as far as I know the SCD-1 and 777es are still some of the very best for the money. For both redbook and sacd.
This is more just FYI. I haven't heard either of these units, but Sony just announced at Home Entertainment 2003 (in S.F.) a replacement for the 777es, the SCD-XA9000ES. According to Stereophile (September issue), it will have even more DAC's (18 in all), new styling, as well as (a first), a new multi-channel digital output link via FireWire (IEEE1394). This would allow you to use it as a transport and connect it to an external DAC, do some post processing, etc. Although I know know how many DACs have iLink connectors for multichannel audio. I'm sure they will start building them now.
Yes, still the way to go...if you watch Sony's products some of the best built units are their first products out that need to prove-up the new SACD format (e.g., SCD-1). Great sound doesn't change. Unless you need the the firewire link, the 777es is tried and true -- many reveiws stating the sonic benefits...this month's The Absolute Sound has an article on the Musical Fidelity Trivista CD/SACD player (costs thousands more than the Sony). The reviewer compared the two units...gave the head-nod to MF on redbook cd playback, but said the difference in SACD was marginal. The reviewer also stated that cd play does not compare to SACD. Darrin