Absolute top tier DAC for standard res Redbook CD

Hi All.

Putting together a reference level system.
My Source is predominantly standard 16/44 played from a MacMini using iTunes and Amarra. Some of my music is purchased from iTunes and the rest is ripped from standard CD's.
For my tastes in music, my high def catalogues are still limited; so Redbook 16/44 will be my primary source for quite some time.

I'm not spending DCS or MSB money. But $15-20k retail is not out of the question.

Upsampling vs non-upsampling?
USB input vs SPDIF?

All opinions welcome.

And I know I need to hear them, but getting these ultra $$$ DAC's into your house for an audition ain't easy.

Looking for musical, emotional, engaging, accurate , with great dimension. Not looking for analytical and sterile.
glory, Did you use any of dlcockrum's solutions? What USB and which footers did you use to get the Comet synced to your system? I also noted tha Mike of Verastarr held back and didn't even mention he's developed a few improvements for the Comet.
Matt - looking forward to your thoughts on the DaVinci.

Playback Designs has a new "Dream series" coming which will include an SACD transport with integrated Syrah server (MPT-8) and a new DAC (MPD-8). Will be out of my price range, but this is the functionality I'd like. Wonder if this new DAC will best Merlot appreciably? Keep in mind.

Hopefully, PS Audio will consider the integrated server concept.

It has probably already been mentioned but in case not check out the Sound Galleries server. 

Whether he did or not (honestly, I am not sure whether his last post is just saracasm or not), he did bring up a good potential opportunity to further improve the Comet’s sound - vibration control. I tend toward using conductors to transfer vibration to a dissipative interface, so I thought the hard metal bearings on the bottom of the Comet that are direct coupled to the chassis would be ideal, but perhaps improvement is possible through experimentation. I have had great success with Symposium platforms as a dissipate membrane.

Also, since the Comet uses an external power supply, isolation (not rubber!) of vs conductance from the DAC itself might be beneficial. I plan to test these things next.

Matt will post soon I'm sure, but he's getting the Sound Gallery's (I may too) in to listen to.  It's got great press.  Can't wait to hear his thoughts on it.