I have to say that this is the most frustrating time in the 30 years spent on this hobby. Finally, after 30 years, CD playback has reached a maturity level that I thought would never come. The quality of music coming from my system is the best it has EVER been.
Now, however, everyone is cutting back there CD inventory. It is essentially disappearing. Borders has reduced their inventory to almost nothing. Virtually every company has cut back drastically.
So, like a good audiophile I jump back into vinyl, only to find that as soon as I buy an album, a 180 gram version is released at $30-$35 (which I buy for better sound) only to learn that a 200 gram "ultimate version" is available a few months down the road at $50. Then, much to my "delight", an ultimate supreme (or other optional adjective) 45 version is released. What makes it worse is fact that I experienced many an album with pressing flaws that effected one track or another.
I essentially "give" my Music Hall 7.1, Dynavector 17D3 cartridge, Simaudio LP5.3 phono section, album collection and VPI record cleaner to a friend in total frustration.
Now, I decide, downloads are the future. Wow, what a "jacked up" state computer audio is in. USB DACs, USB converters, MACs with mini toslinks, firewire DACs, sound cards with coaxial output, servers that store data (like the AppleTV I own), audio equipment you can stream through and mega thousand dollar "ultimate" systems that store data on their own proprietary hard and software. All this to back, ummmmm HD Tracks. How special must they feel. And to add insult to injury, my credit card was compromised twice through them (that is not a joke, they notified their customers by email and sent me 2 free SACDs, one used!, for my trouble).
This on the heals of owning SACD player #1 that I find converts high res to PCM, player #2 that directly decodes DSD, player #3 that does not pass SACD in the digital domain over HDMI and player #4 that finally does. And the DVD Audio player paperweight.....
This hobby that I have such a passionate love for is at the mercy of complete idiots.