Quite honestly, i was stupid and shelled out the cash for the 2900. Mind you, it's not a bad unit, but i should have learned my lesson and just bought something that was cheap, competent and easily modifiable. Having said that, i wanted something that had very good video ( and the 2900 does ) and was a "universal" player. Now that i've shelled out the cash and have had it a while, i still don't own any DVD-A discs and still have the same handful of SACD's that i had prior to purchasing the 2900. If i had it to do all over again, i'd probably buy an inexpensive Panasonic unit and live without certain "audiophile" capabilities. There just isn't much music available on these formats that i want and on top of that, what is available that i've purchased isn't all that much better than good redbook. In fact, some of the SACD's that i've heard sound WORSE than the redbook versions.
As a side note, the Panasonic's don't sound bad at all for what they are and the video is quite good. As far as music goes, drop a CD into them and let them play on repeat for a week or so. You might be amazed at what you hear after that.
How do i know this? We compared a "universal" Pioneer, a Philips with SACD capability and a Panasonic in my Brother's system and the Panasonic was by far the best performer in terms of sonics. The Pioneer was piss poor and didn't rank at all. The Philips had great PRAT, but was far from neutral sounding i.e. smooth, warm and syrupy. The Panasonic was initially somewhat hard and bright sounding, but improved quite drastically with more use i.e. after the week long "repeat" trick.
Do yourself a favour and spend what you need to get what you want, but don't think that you need it all at this point in time. You don't and won't miss it. Sean
PS... As with any other video device, they all work MUCH better when you have the TV properly calibrated. The use of Video Essentials or Avia can make a world of difference.