By a stroke of luck I can input into the Oppo v. Mega $ player debate.
We went down to the local Salvation Army store tonight, and behold, an Oppo 970HD for $20. Sold! No remote, which sucks, so I'll have to see if I can find a universal and code that works. Looks like the last beta firmware update allows some other remote codes, so maybe there is hope.
Got it home and hooked it up to my 2.1 system. My other source is a Music Hall Maverick SACD player, which retails in the $1000-$1500 range.
Compared the Beatles - Love in DVD-A (Oppo) and redbook (Maverick)
Compared Mannheim Steamroller Fresh Aire II in HDCD (Oppo) and redbook (Maverick)
Compared Dark Side OTM in SACD in both
DVD-Audio: No contest, the Maverick in upsampling mode kills the Oppo.
HDCD: Kudos to the Oppo here, it sounds very good and compares well with the Maverick.
SACD: No contest, because the Oppo locks up on my two SACDs and won't play them. Hopefully a firmware update tomorrow will fix that too.
Still, I am really excited at my $20 Oppo find. It will make a great source at work for my headphone rig...especially if I can get a remote to work with it.