I know the idea of overpriced is the cross you must bear AlexO but even people who spend more than you think they should enjoy their hi-fi. But if you want to start the crusade to prevent enjoyment through testing (a great t-shirt btw) be my guest.
Let me rephrase. Testing is important to separate the claims of charlatans and those who know not of what they speak from the facts. There is a lot of noise in hi-fi. Noise being generated by those who consciously or unconsciously try to obfuscate issues. Noise from those who pursue their own financial agenda and who put out outrageous claims often enough where people assume that those claims are factual, etc.
Testing weeds out the noise. It allows one to enjoy the same musical experience on hi-fi, however, it also allows one to have that SAME experience without over paying or buying based on false claims and noise. So, there is real value in testing. It does not interfere with one's ability to enjoy a musical experience on hi-fi. But it does identify what's real and what's smoke and mirrors.
BTW, I read your road trip on 6 moons. I guess I'm one of the "unhappy" audiophiles you refer to. I'll post a response in a thread once I figure out how to present it in the most concise manner.