The tweakaudio.com Millennium 1 is an easy choice. I have one if you're interested.
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EVS millennium 1 will kill a MSB Link III in most areas (especially bass slam, bass weight, bass texture, bass speed). The Millennium is very comparable to the Audio Note 1.x DACs.
I should be able to find a Millennium DAC 1 for $325-400, depending on if it is a DAC 1, 1A, or 1B. I would not pass up a good deal on a 1 or 1A just because it isn't the 1B model.
With only $400-500, I would think about a used Rega planet CDP, Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 or maybe the Philips Sacd player some seem fond of. If the cheap dac doesn't reclock the singnal from the transport, and most don't, the transport may kill the potential of the dac, a single box will likely prove vastly superior.
I have not heard the Channel Island, but I have heard an MSB Link and did not like it. It was forward sounding and lacked bass. My personal favorite in your price range is the Micromega DUO BS2, which you will have to find used. They do come up for sale occaisionally for around $200. I have tried or owned several dacs under $2K and prefer the Micromega over all of them.