Just so you know that I have been properly deputized, here's my badge...
Of the multiple systems in my home, two are currently comprised predominantly or exclusively of McIntosh components. I love the Mac stuff for what it is and what it does! In my office I have a C 2300 preamplifier driving a 275 Mark six amplifier. The sound is lovely with several pair of speakers that I have on hand. At first I did not like the green LEDs on the tubes, but they have grown on me. In my finished basement, I have a 452 amplifier with a C 50 preamplifier. I also have the 550 SACD/CD player in that system as well. Another system in the basement features a BHK 250 amplifier with an audia flight preamplifier and esoteric SA50 disc player. Available speakers are KEF Blade twos and Paradigm signature S6V3. I would not characterize the BHK or 452 as better or worse. Both provide outstanding results, but they are different. The BHK is more delicate/subtle. There may be a larger window into subtle details. Both amplifiers do a phenomenal job and I enjoy them both immensely.
my belief is that Macintosh makes outstanding equipment. At one time I considered it to be expensive and overpriced, but no longer. There are so many brands which cost many times what Macintosh is charging these days. After going to their factory tour I understand the cost involved in producing their equipment and providing the excellent service that they are known for. Is McIntosh the be-all/end-all? Probably not but they produce wonderful gear at a fair price. I have owned many brands and would put Mac up there with the best of them.
I started out with Mac solid state gear in the late 70's (2205 amp and C28 pre). It was fine for it's time and there wasn't as many choices as today. Used if for 20 years and sold it for what I paid for it. I haven't listened to any of the current offerings and moved in another direction after my Mac gear.