While posting about the intricacies of stereo components is all very fun, I feel that I should take this opprotunity to do something that all audiophiles are prone to: a little bragging.
My system, as it's shaping up right now, will be:
Source IBM X40 or other PC
DAC: Edirol USB ADC/DAC
Alternate CD player: Denon DCD-695
Amplifier: MyRef.A amplifier w/ passive preamp
Speakers: Modula MTs (not done yet)
Speakers - est. $200
Amplifier - est. $100
DAC - $8 at a garage sale
PC - I already own it.
CD player: $7 at thrift store.
Total: About $325.
This should beat the pants off of $1,000 factory-made systems, if half of what I hear about the Modula MTs is true.