Given it's my first BR player I can't answer...but if you do some research you'll find...
1. Only one at the price point that plays all formats
2. General consensus is the BR playback is on par with the it's competitors (very good), but the SD DVD up conversion is superior.
3. Proactive customer service
4. Rabid fan club
That was good enough for me given it was a $500 purchase....and I've been very pleased with it as a BR / DVD player. If it breaks in more and the CD play improves to the level of my current reference (Arcam DV78) then I'll be thrilled, but for now the Arcam stays. Also, if they ever add FLAC support to the media gallery feature I'll be really happy!
But back on topic...I'd be really hesitent to spend $500 on a CDP and expect anything much better than the Oppo. Maybe I'll find a ~$500 DAC that I could use with the Oppo as a transport...but it'll have to beat out the Arcam. Hope to find time to compare the Arcam against the CA DACMagic that my local high fi shop now stocks.