I think since it's Christmas Eve, and given Brian's last post, the subject is moot. But, I was out shopping for a bedroom mini-system and maybe a desk top system as gifts and ran across the Denon and Yamaha mentioned above. Both are good recommendations, especially if you can find them online at a discount. Even at the $400 price point there are enough differences to make a meaningful choice. The Denon/Mission seemed to have more bass, the Yamaha clearer top end with more detail and maybe better soundstaging. A music lover could be happy with either. Lots of detail, depth, width, decent imaging, enough bass for most people. Both systems have better speakers than the TEAC I mentioned above.
I like the looks of the Denon and the feel of the Yamaha.
In the end, I bought two more TEACS, even though I think the Yamaha or the Denon might be marginally "better." The cost was less than half and for the intended applications I think the TEAC is fine.
I was put off by the Good Guys and Best Buy charging suggested retail prices. And even more annoyed with the Good Guys salesmen's persistent (and consistent among several at different times of day) recommendation of the Yamaha as having "better sound." I assume, and this is only my opinion and is not intended as an assertion of fact, that their motivation to push the Yamaha reflects a spiff they get from the manufacturer or distributor. The Denon is very good and I think some people might prefer it.
I keep thinking of that earier thread that asked why arent more people interested in high end sound? With little $400 minisystems that sound this good, I wonder why so many peope are interested in high end sound.