Hi there! Last week I had a remarkable experience... I visited a high-end shop. Apart from the gorgeous looks of their products and the names I didn't know, it made me think a lot. First of all, the way I was treated was far better than in any other shop I visited, and I am not talking about this big shops like MediaMarkt. We spent more time talking than listening to anything, assuming that it would be needed a longer time for that, in a second visit. And all this after I told them I am just a poor PhD student that cannot spend 2000 euro in a couple of speakers. Say that in a regular shop, and the attention they will pay to you will decay exponentially. I told them my situation, how I like music and what I want to get out of it, that I also want to benefit of the home cinema, but I consider music more important. I gave them all the ingredients of my personal tastes and situation, my room, etc. Now they have an idea of what I can and want, and gave me some advice on how to start. This is not the end, because it is supposed that I will visit the shop at least once again, and they will show me how some speakers that I can afford work, and they will find my likings, being able to recommend me the best suited for me. Of course any dealer's goal is to sell, and make money, but I really think that this guys have a different philosophy, and won't try to get me into something they should or need to sell, but really find out what pleases me, and go that way. On the other side, of course the equipment they sell is more expensive than what you find in a normal hifi shop, but not that much, really. You know, when I said "I don't care what kind of car I drive, but I want to listen to music as good as I can", they talked to each other "hey, this is one of the good ones". Of course you can interpret that as "we will make money with this guy", but I felt it like "he is like us, music lovers". I asked this guys all questions that came to my mind, even getting answers that were "against them", like that B&W are very good and worth the price [he doesn't have them]. We were talking for 45 min, and after that (already 15 min passed the opening hours) he said I should just listen something for a while, to get a first impression. We went out of the shop almost 1 hour after it should be closed. That says a lot about this people, moreover because I started saying I wouldn't spend a lot of money. Finally, they put a concert of The Corrs on a pioneer receiver (don't know which player) and let it play through some Triangle speakers, that I had already heard about, without subwoofer. Although the setup was far from ideal, the sound stage was nice and clear, everything detailed. Nothing related to the agressive sound of the Canton LE109 that I auditioned last saturday (well, the price was near 3 times more...). The only thing I was missing was some extra bass. Anyway, it was just for a first impression, and they said they'd set something up for my second visit (I have to make an appointment). BTW, something also very pleasant was that they sticked to the budget I said, even though I commented I'd like to expand it afterwards. I said I want a couple of front speakers for 400 euro or less, and they didn't mention anything out of that limit. They said they have some Triangle, but they are bookshelf, and then showed me some Acoustic Energy Aegis Two floorstanding for 400 euro the pair. They also mentioned they are waiting for another speakers, and some are under 400 euro/pair, but they don't have them yet. In addition, I liked very much what they wrote in the web site (sorry, it is in german!) about hifi and hiend, not to say that I got the feeling they know what they talk about. Ok, I know I have written a lot... Now the question is... Do you think that you get better for the money, or everything is gone in fancy looks, when you go the hi-end way? PS: I could see there some speakers made of stone (I started a thread about it last week), although I didn't listen to any of them. Nice stuff!! Maybe next time I get the opportunity to listen to them!