Oppo options

I'm looking at the Oppo 93 and the Oppo 95. For the $500 difference am I better off getting the 93 and an external $500 or so DAC or does the 95 outperform that option. Also, if I do decide on the 95 what DACs would make a noticeable difference and how much would I have to spend.
There's a Oppo 83SE with Modwright upgrades on Audiogon right now that I bet would be even better than the stock 95 by a comfortable margin.
I was in the same boat, I got the Oppo 95 and couldn't be happier!
As of all things in this area, not getting the 95 will put a 'doubt' in your mind that will always convince you that something is missing. Go with the 95, its just 'pennies' more per day.
I'm also interested in this thread. What about part B of the question, regarding the DAC?
In the 500$ region you'll find plent of interesting DACs both new and used.

The NEW kid on the block is just a tick OVER your 500$ limit but is, to me, the most interesting of the lot.

The CA DACMagic PLUS has a number of interesting features including headphone output. The volume control can also be assigned to the audio outs...either balanced or unbalanced. This means for a dorm / desktop system of the HIGHEST calibre, you'd need a source, the DAC and some powered speakers. You could bring the whole thing home for 1600$, with a good pair of Grado SR60i 'cans'.

In the higher cost brackets of DAC, the choices are wacky. Rega? Bryston? NAD Masters? Bunches of others to suit.
For the DAC, $500. Does that include digital cable? Maybe a better power cable? NO SACD or Blue Ray playback through the DAC. I bet that you will need a very good DAC to outperform the 95, most of which cost significantly more than $500.
If you get the Oppo 95 and want to put $500 to good use, get the solid state mods from Modwright. Don't forget that the Oppo already has a very good, state of the art DAC chip.
I read elsewhere that Exemplar is out of business...is this just a rumor?