As a BD50 owner who transitioned to an Oppo BDP-93 a few years ago, I'd like to put in my two cents.
When I got the BD50, I was already using an old Denon DVD-2910, which was in addition to being a CD/DVD player, also a DVD-Audio/SACD player.
With the two of them hooked up to the same pre-HDMI AVR via their multichannel analog ouputs (with a multichannel passive switchbox - no eletronics to introduce noise), I began to notice that the same CD or music DVD sounded better played on the Denon than the Panny - probably because the Denon's analog output was engineered to bring out the best from DVD-Audio disks and SACDs.
My motivation for getting the Oppo - which was their entry-level $500 machine - was to bring the sound from Blu-ray music disks up to the level of the Denon, since the Oppo is also a DVD-Audio/SACD player.
That I did accomplish, but I also noticed that - contrary to the common belief that all Blu-ray players put out the same image from Blu-ray disks - the image from the Oppo was also better than from the Panny.
And when I decided to order the British DVD box sets of Quantum Leap and the Emma Peel Megaset of the old British Avengers TV series, I was able to make the Oppo region free for DVDs (though not for Blu-rays) by downloading a free ISO called the SuperDisk, burning it to a disk, and putting it into the player. It spun it around for a little while and then ejected it as indigestible, but was thereafter DVD region free - which has survived several firmware upgrades without having to be done again.
If you're going to insist on XLR outputs and a separate power supply for the audio section, you'll end up paying the kind of money you're talking about for the BDP-105 series, but the $500 BDP-103 or $600 BDP-103D (which bundles in Darbee Darblet circuitry that costs $200 separately, to provide the kind of intelligent sharpening that photographers use Photoshop for) will do fine - and will serve as a mini-preprocessor as it has HDMI inputs and extends its video processing to anything fed through it.
Personally, I'm sticking with my 93 because it has a composite video output jack that can be used to navigate its network streaming menus to play FLACs I've loaded onto my PC's external hard drive without firing up my projector. Fans of the later machines use graphical interfaces on their PCs, tablets or phones to "push" music to their players; my older Oppo has to "pull" material via its menu system.
Comparing these devices to $50 commodity machines is about as valid as comparing the rest of your system to what you can find on the cheap in the local Best Buy.
PS I still have the Panny, for when I want to find out whether it really is interesting to watch the Blu-ray of The Wizard of Oz while listening to the surround version of Dark Side of The Moon.
Last edited by Philnick; 03-31-2015 at 11:02 PM.