I'm not sure you would find that much difference btwn the two Senns.
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I use a pair of HD600s with a Headroom Little More Plus headphone amp and an Ah! Tjoeb tubed CD player. It's a very nice combination. I like the 'process' circuit on the Headroom amp. It does make the experience more like listening to speakers, the sound seems to have a more realistic sound stage than you usually get with headphones. I bought both the headphones and amp used, for less than your $600 budget.
I much prefer the AKG K701s to the Senns. I drive mine with a Woo Audio WA6 headphone amp. That's a very synergistic combination that lots of people over at www.head-fi.org use.
You may not like them direct out of your computer as they'll reveal ALL of the weakness of that Soundblaster card. The Senns are probably a better choice for that use. However, if you want a headphone rig that rivals you main two-channel system in transparency, resolution and timbral accuracy then the 701/Woo combination is hard to beat.
In contrast, with a good headphone amp, the Senns will seem thick and euphonically warm through the midrange.
Roll around at head-fi a little. The most popular rigs include the Senns, AKG, Beyer 880 or 990 and Grado.
The Woo is an incredible deal. You get a single-ended, class A tube design that really revealing yet with no edgyness, all for under $600.
No Swamp, I've never heard the K1000s. A couple of decades ago I had some midline Stax electrostatics that I dearly loved, except I had reliability issues and kept getting static electricity shocks in my ears (not fun). Anyway, I loved the smooth midrange of the Stax and feel like the AKGs give me that in a dynamic phone and less hassle.
I'd say that the midrange and highs of the AKGs are electrostatic-like but that's as far as I can go.
Of course, I'm sure you know that there's still a very strong market for the K1000. Woo Audio makes an incredible amp for them and other electros (the WA5-it's beautiful).
If you are happy with the sennheiser "house sound" you may want to just go higher up the line.
After many months research looking for a good headphone rig I settled on the senn 650's with a grace 901 amp to power it. This has proven to be a very good combination for my tastes. I will admit that at first I was not impressed with the 650's but after sufficient burn in time the cans now sound great!
If you are sticking to the sennheiser brand I would look at these amps (in no particular order)
Heed Audio - Can Amp
Lehmann Audio - Black Cube Linear (Sennheiser used this amp to debut the 650's)
Graham Slee - Solo
Headamp - GS1 or Gilmore Lite (with dedicated power supply)
Naim - Headline (with NAPSC power supply)
Antique Sound Lab - MG HEAD DT OTL MKIII
Melos - SHA-1
Musical Fidelity - X can v3
Rudistor - RP5.1 (hybrid)
Woo Audio - Woo Audio 6
If you go in a different direction such as AKG or Grado, the amp selection will change somewhat.
Most of the amps listed will have to be purchased used in order to meet your $600 budget but thats all part of the fun isn't it?
Good luck on your hunt!