Headphone dilemna....seeking advice..

I liked my Grado sr125 headphones but they were cheaply constructed and finally the left channel has gone kaput. I won't buy another Grado unless it is close to free. I have been using a Musical Fidelity V2 headphone amp and it sounds very nice.

I am considering the akg k501 headphone for price mostly and some reviews say it sounds pretty good when driven with a good head amp. Other phone in the running is the venerable sennheiser hd 600 but I don't like the physical design as much as the more traditional looking akg.

Now, having said that I see that if I could get 175 out of my head amp I could take the money I would have spent on akg and buy a used Stax system for a few hundred bux more. There is a Stax 4040 tube driver system with phones for 925/bo right now on audiogon.

Can anybody comment on my dilemna? Thing that concerns me about Stax is long term reliability, repair costs, and the fact that those phones look awful damned big and it might be hard to rest one's head on a pillow while listening to the phones.
I would forget about the AKG's. They are not in the same league as the Senn's or Stax. If you like the ultimate in detail recovery the Stax are your headphones. I personally tried the Stax and found I liked the balanced sound of the Sennheiser more.
Stax are brutally honest headphones--and I do mean brutally. I have a pair with the solid state amp and really would like to get the tube amp version. I think that combination would likely be fantastic. I have had no problems with my Stax--and I bought them used--but they have been flawless in terms of reliability.
Check out head-fi.org for all kinds of headphone info. You can do better than the AKG 501. My favorite is the Sennheiser HD600 with Stefan AudioArt Equinox headphone cables and the Grace 901 headphone amp. Really, really sweet combo. I still have a Stax 3030, but prefer the Senn system. However, the Stax should be fine in the long term reliability, but no, you can't wear them laying down. Only something like Etynomics will work for that. Audio Technica headphones are also good (the W100 and W1000, both made with wood), but are available only from Japan thru Audiocubes. You can also order Stax new from japan through Audiocubes and others at far less than US retail.
I own the Stax 4040 system and think it's fantastic. The 404 Signature phones are very detailed, well-balanced, and musical. The direct-drive 006t tube amp is a wonderful little gem. For $925, it's a great bargain. I think it will be snapped up quickly by someone who recognizes the performance level and value. The tube amp should be quite reliable. The tubes are a common type and relatively easy to find when needed.

The one downside I noticed is that the phones are so good they will make you aware of your speaker's shortfalls.
I've been steered from Stax for driver reliability concerns and my advice is from a person that repairs them. So, I'll stick with my Musical Fidelity amp, upgrade the tube to Telefunken, and acquire some closed phones. Not sure..maybe ultrasone.
I second checking out www.head-fi.org .

It's literally the best headphone enthusiasts community out there. You will get so much info there. Unfortunately, I'm totally a Grado fan. I don't there's are set of cans out there that can touch my RS1/RA-1 combo.

I'm totally satified.

good luck
I wound up buying something called HFI 650 (closed ear type) from Meier Audio. Thanks for the input.