An unscientific poll: How often are you happy?

What percentage of the time do you just break out in a smile and thoroughly enjoy the music *and* the sound when you fire up your system? 10%? 50%? 99%? (The other times: you hear something wrong, something lacking, needs tweaking, needs upgrading, colorations, distortions, you hear a noise, a tube might be going, not musical enough, can't suspend your disbelief the way you want to, your expectations are disappointed, it doesn't sound like you remember the dealer's system did, doesn't sound like you remember your friend's system did, you made the wrong move with the last upgrade, you doubt the money you recently spent really made a difference, the recording is too flawed, you wonder what it would sound like if you changed this or that, you enjoyed it more in the car, you question whether you've truly got your priorities in perspective, etc...) Give your %, and list the approximate $ investment you have in the system (specify new or used valuation). Mine: happy about 15% of the time, valuation around $17,000 if all bought new. Conclusions - if any - drawn later...
I love/need the music. My $4500 2-channel audio system delivers recorded music just fine for me (and my budget). 99.95% of the time I'm responding directly to the recorded music, rather than to equipment issues, which I guess means (for the purpose of this poll) I'm happy about 99.95%.

Among the music that gives me joy are old low-fi Ellington and Parker recordings. So fidelity isn't everything, but it's sure nice if you can get it. And there's nothing like hearing music performed live.

I spend time at various audio and music websites and enjoy listening to music on some friends' higher end/priced systems. I've also appreciated the dramatic improvements in sound from the upgrades to my audio system that I've been able to make over the years. But it's my connection to the music that would probably make me "happy" over 90% of the time, even if I could only afford to get it via a "boombox".
Nil & Sek brought us back, and Sek's last paragraph probably echoes many of us. Just thought I'd inform everyone that I upgraded from Lagavulin to Lafroiagg, for the jazz/blues music. The upper range is definitely better, and p.r.a.t.t. has improved. Cheers!
I know it's not allowed here, but I did an A/B comparison between Dalwhinnie and Lagavulin on jazz/blues. With the Dalwhinnie, the midrange seemed to expand a bit and had more air. With the Lagavulin, the bass seemed to have a bit more heft. Switching back to the Dalwhinnie, it appeared that the soundstage seemed ever so much broader. Switching back to the Lagavulin, the bit of congestion in the upper end seemed to lift. Switching back to the Dalwhinnie, the pacing sseemed to improve. Switcching back to the Lagavulin, thngs seemed to shift toward the lwoer midrange a bit. Dalwhiine, a bit more sluggish in the upper end. Lagvavuln, jst stlighty off key. Dalvin,m, basss very goog but candt seem to get all the powere of the vocals. Lavgmuln, just not cocomming togehter. Dalvine, music shchumsic, where's my wife ... ?
80% of the time I'm very happy with my system while understanding and accepting it's shortcomings. Some inherent with the SOTA, the technology chosen while others reflect specific component choice/synergy.

My situation is some what weird; with my old system there was a pervasive feeling that something just wasn't "right", regardless of the high level of performance. With my new system, I feel almost the opposite; that there is more of a "rightness" with both the presentation and my enjoyment with it. Though with the new system I have a whole new set of areas to fine-tune. Unfortunately they involve core components - my new 2wpc Moth SET amp and my existing dynamic 93db Silverline speakers - and are not easily corrected w/o major changes. The Sonatinas are just on the boarder of a realistic pairing with the Moth. The upside is that the Moth clearly bests my old pp triode VAC.

I was aware of the potential for problems when I ordered the Moth, luckily I've been pleasantly surprized and musically satisfied with the result IMS. Though I must wonder just how much of the Moth's performance is still unrealized. Considering my current satisfaction, this is a pleasant dilemmia to have. So, untill I'm able to explore other speaker types I'll make minor, inexpensive adjustments to better my situation: DIY 24awg silver/teflon speaker wire for example.

Retail value of my system is 25k.
Beautiful piece, Oz. Well written, too. There are positive facets A/B testing after all. The post above serves as an example! Clink!