We can go back many years to when a young Floyd Toole did some double blind testing at the NRC Dep't of Physics acoustics lab. Focusing on speakers since they were the weakest link in a typical system and very likely in the majority of exotic ones as well, he found that pretty much everyone, be they audiophiles, musicians, bus drivers, housewives or professors, always recognized and preferred the system with the flattest frequency response, lowest distortion and best dispersion. This was after spending some time listening to different types of music.
We hear everywhere we go with the same ears but an audiophile evaluating the realism of a system will be handicapped by knowing what it is and how good it is or isn't to the best of his knowledge, so that any conclusion drawn will be significantly affected. Sure, it's conceivable that there will be different priorities for different people but I think that generally there would be agreement in favour of the more accurate setup, a Bryston system vs most others, for example. (No, I don't work there but 40 years of great sound has given me a lot of faith in the company. A great deal of affection as well.) For me what seems to work is walking into a room to speak to someone while music is playing. If I'm distracted by what at certain moments sounds like the vocalist is really there, that's a very good sign. One day, I heard Tony Bennet in the room with me but couldn't find him anywhere. It was a Bryston system with the Mini As and I just couldn't go home without them. It was a similar experience with the T-Rex a few months ago, except for the last part. Still trying to work that out.