First, understand the marketing of high end stuff. Most audiophile's will change the amps last. Therefore, to make money source components always get pushed. Just check the ads in the magazine.
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Stereophile, Absolute Sound, some of the online reviewers like 6 Moons and others and offshore mags provide good places to start your search. I find what approaches consensus on here to be more helpful and broader in perspective in the end because you actually have to defend yourself. I would say that the "professional" reviewers are only slightly less biased than the folks that post on here - it turns out we all lead pretty sheltered lives!
You used to be able to purchase the "recommended components" list online, but I can't see where to do that anymore? If I wanted a list of recommended components from three years ago, how would I come by such a list?
To answer the original question - much like everyon else said: amps go out the door slower, so they are going to review less of them. I like the lists as fodder for discussion with friends and for sourcing some old equipment someone might have thought was particularly interesting for some reason many years ago. I make my own opinion after the purchase and keep or release as necessary.
Stereophile has to perpetuate their self-conceived myth that their average stereo owners system is worth $15,000 (or something) and they promote components which then fulfill their myth.
It's all about making the numbers fit the theory.
Like someone said "Tell me the results you want and I'll come up with the data to support it."
"The mag is OK to read for (some) entertainment value but they basically recommend just about everything they review. "
Yes, because for the most part it is all good stuff based on the merits of each piece alone, so why not recommend it?
How effectively you integrate the pieces into a system that works in your listening space is what really matters most.
Generally it is unwise to make purchasing decisions based upon such lists. They may be used as a rough guide, but that's it. There is no substitute for auditioning, and don't restrict your choices to only those listed in the magazines. Take what they say (and just as importantly, what's posted online) with a grain of salt.
I actually think the "recommended components lists" are helpful for sending me in a particular direction for an audition. I can then listen to the gear next to it or whatever the sales person want to show me in comparison. I don't always agree with the mag/online reviewers, but sometimes I do, and in those cases I might never have looked at the piece if not recommended in the magazine or online.