I must say this is one of the most refreshing insights I have seen in my 20 or so year on the web (ok, I am a newbie to this site, but was taught my audio background by few co-worker experts at Bell Labs & HP)...
Your ability to explain the true basics of reality rings true to me. Oh, to have that skill. I ran by operating with (in the past) having access to the best minds and technical environments that no consumer or (for profit company) could ever wish, and I did it purely as a plaything, as I had to also work to generate real products that turned a profit to the masses once I enter 'reality'. You nailed it on the head. Speaker design, acoustics, power, distortion... all the hype, are measureable, and designs can accommodate those willing to pay. I am not an old-and-moldy designer (40's ain't old), but the equipment we had access to, that no longer exists (practically), though digital equivalents rival it. Advances in R&D will never stop, as I know, and I will continue to be amazed (and want to compete with), but the basic laws of physics won't change anytime soon.
Thank you for such a post.