Backup of a collection like that is essential. Hard drives can and do fail. My friend just had his Lacie with 100gb of music fail on him in the first two weeks of owning it. To recover the data would cost more than the drive did. It was a Lacie 250gb drive (one of the Extreme models). On the other hand I've used Lacie drives for years without even a hiccup, so go figure. His dad is a Mac guy and recommended a drive I'd never heard of called a Mercury Elite Pro
. Given his experience with the Lacie I think he'll try one of these next. I still wouldn't hesitate to use Lacie. Those kinds of things can happen to any drive. They all have very fast moving parts. I think his reader arm slammed into the wall. I'm in the process of backing up 200+gb of music onto about 40 DVD's, which is another alternative to an extra drive, and arguably a bit safer, but much more labor intensive. Still, it'll be reassuring to have a hard copy, as it were.
I haven't actually listened to the DAC in my Waveterminal, but i don't imagine it would be difficult to improve upon given the price. I use the digital SPDIF to run to a Muse DAC and couldn't be more happy. As you know from the other thread, USB DAC's could also be a great solution.