What am I missing?

Stereophile this month has a review of a new McIntosh preamp set up that has, apparently, all-but-identical digital and tube-based versions of a preamp, controlled by some equally-expensive "control center". All told, the setup is $27K.

The review didn't make any attempt at explaining who this is being marketed to (other than people with a lot of money). Is this for people who just, literally, can't make up their mind? After years of debate, has the audiophile community decided that the answer is to have parallel paths, one with tubes, one with SS, to be able to select as desired betweent the two? The ultimate "they're both right!" answer?

It would seem like the same amount spent on a single box would yield better results, presumably on several fronts.
1. Early employees of Google, and pre-IPO Goldman, among others
2. Fun
3. Sounds like enough money to optimize both to me!
Well, Cary makes that CDP with both tube and SS output stages that you can switch between. You could have a real fun time pairing that front end with this preamp.
Zaik, you took the words right out of my mouth.
one of the capabilities often not designed with electronics is flexibility.

tone controls, tube and solid state signal paths and other user controlled options would be a welcome addition to today's purist designs.

part of enjoying the hobby is experimenting and playing.

the more options the better, provided the cost is reasonable, whatever that is.
It actually makes a good deal of sense to me. Is it really any different than a tetrode/triode switch or defeatable upsampling?
It must just be me, then - maybe it's the fact that it's 3 separate boxes, with the third one (the control center) seemingly only necessary due to having the two preamps as separate boxes.

The review uses a CDP (a MF) with the dual output stage as well, giving the reviewer a cornucopia of choices which he too seemed to enjoy.

Personally, I'd be more likely to go towards a dedicated $26K preamp if that's the kind of money I had to put into it - something from Boulder or Halcro or something.
Perhaps I think differently, but I would sooner put my $26K toward a dedicated room for my existing gear. I would expect that to provide more improvement all the way around than ANY preamp upgrade could insure.
Smartest reply so far, MacroJack...

Yeah, my comment was supposed to be a smart-alecky wisecrack -- then I actually read the review in question and realized that's exactly what was done...