Unless the player has separate lasers for CD and SACD/DVD-A, playback is compromised. As you mention, focusing paramaters are different.
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I'm guessing that it is because you are spending money on features (universal playback, multi-channel outputs, etc.) requiring manufacting cost to be spent on add decoding chips, etc, instead of spending the money on sound quality.
It's the "Swiss Knife Syndrome". Yes, a swiss knife will open your bottle of wine and remove a flat blade or phillips screw, but it won't do it as well as a simple cork skrew or screwdriver.....
Chapter 8 in Robert Harley's "Complete Guide to High-End Audio" goes in to this in depth. The entire chapter is dedicated to digital source components. He does explain why it is best to go with a separate dedicated CD player vs universal units unless you're spending in excess of $5K. It's also best to choose a single disc player and avoid the multi-disc changer units. Much has to do with dedicated DAC's and features only relevant to CD reproduction without video circuitry, etc. There are many great single drawer high-end CD players under $1K. Hope this helps.