In his review of the Music Hall dac25.2 processor, Sam mentions how he doesn't use a laptop to play music because he doesn't want it to be tethered to the hifi.
If someone would kindly point him in the direction of an Apple Express he'd be all set. In particular relevance to the review, he'd be interested to know that the AE can output digitally to another DAC.
Sam, here's JA's review the 'Express years ago which later won the Budget Component of the Year Award. http://www.stereophile.com/budgetcomponents/505apple/index.html
What we don't know is if the AE's lack of a clock circuit would cause the dac25.2 to truncate the first second or two of sound when starting or changing songs etc.