Bondmanp: Don't forget about putting the penny on top of the needle to hold the arm. :) The rest of the system is the Sony SCD-CE595 CD/SACD player, (temporarily) a Nakamichi RE-3 receiver driving Audio-Technica ATH-A900 "cans". Monster cable interconnects between the player and receiver. I need a closed-design due to high ambient room noise and these headphones are are great for my situation.
The ATH-A900 has excellent construction and the cabling is high-quality stuff. Very comfortable and I can wear them all day. Not for portable use. Of course, it's no comparison to imaging on my "main" 5.1 system (Vandersteen IIce with 15" Carver Sunfire Sub), but it's certainly relaxing to be able to sit down and work at your PC in your "own space". Headphones do that for you. Nice. It's all about the music...
If you are serious about headphones, head over to http://head-fi.org/
Another feature of using headphones is that you don't need a high power amp and there's a separate forum just for DIY amps, etc. Very easy and fun to build your own when you don't need more than a Watt or so. (Did I mention cheap?) To clarify my note of "temporary" for the receiver is that I'm going to homebrew a headphone amp when I get the chance- there are lots of designs to choose from.
Head-fi also has an extensive discussion forum on dedicated source components, which is exactly the subject of this CD Player/ Transport forum.http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=11
I would venture to guess that this AVS forum was started by noting other what other forums are doing (?). This is a good thing.
From your original point, I agree on the stigma of a "changer". Actually after reading all the reviews, the point didn't hit home until I installed it. It's not a cheap mechanism, but it does take a while to get everything setup and ready to play when you feed it a disc. Menu is OK and it comes with a remote. For a $120 - $150 range player, it sounds fine. I haven't compared it to anything else.
What was unachievable a few years ago is now high end. The challenge is in the quality of the transport mechanism- which is key to getting the timing clock stream from the CD error free (low jitter). Along with DAC and filtering design trades. Hence, this forum. My next challenge.