Thanks for that Jeff,
Nice system you've put together, and yes, if a person does their homework like you have, $1500 can buy a lot of performance.
Currently, I have a system in a similar category set up with:
Firestone Big Joe V1.3: $200 new.
Pure i20 digital in 24/192 (hardware upsampled) iPod dock with remote: $100 new.
6 Gen 16 gig iPod Nano: $200 new (my favorite Nano).
Super 3U: $800 new for level 1 finish (mine are more with level 2 finish).
Total: $1300 USD
Add affordable stands, interconnects, and speaker wire and this system would flesh out at around $1500.
One thing I love about this system other than the incredible sound is the convenience: flip the switch on my Tripp Lite Iso Bar 6, choose the album/song, turn up the volume, and listen.