Your absolutely right on the two options I have. As I am critical of the price it sells for considering the thought of engineering put in and claiming audibility results, if more people like me refused to pay that much out of the limited audience these products cater for prices would be a lot less for what they are. Unfortunately the reality is since there is a small pool of people that are interested in these products: audiophile hobbyists and people like me who are in and out permanently (ie. never going back to upgrade) they have no choice but to mark things up for compensation in that limited audience. As a consequence, the price you pay for is for compensation that they only sell XXX items per year and not necessarily the perceived audible quality they perceive to possess against. I'm a positive person don't get me wrong, I just think there's a lack of middle ground that is never going to be filled for price to quality objectives, and enthusiasm can be directed to other important things in life. Price of the product and raving reviews off 6moons and Stereophile have a huge impact on the physiological decision to take the plunge. Of course I'm already a bit of a fool for voicing my opinion thinking I could make any difference now - a handful of worthy customers have unlimited wallets for budget for which I cannot compete. Where my opinion comes into play is equivalent to not liking the world the way it is and hoping to have an influence to change it, in this particular case it is wishing price and demand would be proportional to the audible increase of quality, compatibility of specs for system, looks/aesthetics and cost of engineering and manufacturing of the product - simply put the price for those considerations is a smaller part of the mark up. Everyone should know that the rest of the premium comes at the expense of a lack of demand (let's say compared to a quarter the population of the world who buy smartphones just an example) and people who succumb to hype simply put (non-audible results). So where there is not an opinion of mine, rather reasonable thinking is the explanation of why it is priced as much as it is. Ironically yes, it is priced almost perfectly the way I see it is as it is due to the unforeseen circumstances i just mentioned! So yah, the premium you are paying is for these +$3000 marked up products is a perceived hype, limited audience and compensation for that, unlimited budget big leagues you are competing with, and people who are not strong enough in the brain to put their foot down for utter nonsense. The rest of the price is the good stuff (usually 1/4 of the price or less). Just be weary for people who decide to take the plunge on this stuff with sensible budgets you are suffering at the expense of the above reality. I take it back it's price perfectly at $7000 brand new.