I really, really don't want this thread to turn into an argument over price versus performance. I write constantly about the subject, including this month's editorial: http://ultraaudio.com/home.shtml
I am a big proponent of finding good value and don't mind downgrading in price when the performance is better. You'll see plenty of evidence of that in both my writing and my personal audio system.
What this thread is about is what the best might be, whether that is lower priced or high. I am a firm believer that price does not always equate to performance -- sometimes price just equates to price. In fact, I think it is harder to find truly world-class engineering the higher you go in price -- there are many boutique brands that have less-than-stellar engineering.
On the other hand what I personally consider state of the art does cost a lot of money. There are products that I have written about that are truly special and cost an arm and a leg. That's just the way it is.
So, I'm just looking at dream systems here, what you consider the best -- regardless of cost. There are some great selections so far and I'm already working on some preliminaries as we speak.
Keep 'em coming, and thanks.