What's the best player or contender's under $1k?

A friend of a friend wants to know.
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Player? of what?
My vote would be the clearaudio emotion/satisfy...with a decent cartridge it'll beat any cdp under 5k, hands down.
For a cd player, looko for a rotel cd-1072 - a nice player with a great dac chip and also has hdcd decoding.
The 1072 is nice but my Audio Aero Prima mk2 can be had used for $1k and it is a way more refined machine. It makes the 1072 sound mechanical and digital. The Rega Apollo is also quite good but lacks deep bass - which may or may not be a problem.
the wadia itransport with a dac using apple lossless on your ipod may well beat any recommendation you can find for cd players under one grand.