yeah, I've both players myself as well (SCD-XA5400ES and BDP-105), still waiting to get complete room set-up with projector and screen, etc.,... I'm excited to eventually compare SQ between these two players. I'm a little surprised to hear folks leaning towards the BDP-105 for analog (RCA or XLR). I guess their sound signatures are "different"?
"depressingly hot with sun, haze and SoCal blue skies promised" ("dinosaur weather")
What exactly has you surprised? Also, if you are not going to setup your equipment I know a nice home for it. I will even let you come over and listen to it from time to time.