What is stopping the ultimate?

Ok, I know when it comes to building a system with regard to the regulars on this site,I am out of my depth in terms of experience and experimentation but I'd be really interested to hear from those who have spent many years building a system what they would consider it is in the world of hi-fi that really needs to be improved and available to us.
Is it a multi-format digital source?
New amplification?
A new type of speaker?
Whatever it is I'm interested to hear from those who have searched for the holy grail and found in their experience to be the limiting factor in their search.
Remember no wrongs or rights only the story of your journey and what you've found-inconclusive or otherwise.
Tell us,please.
A new playback format designed for Audiophiles! Yeah speakers need lots 'o work in the execution dept., too. And quickly while I'm on the discussion speakers, I would like to see a ESL that has the bass slam of a dynamic speaker using cones. Flat response from 100kHz to 8Hz, or so, would be nice.

Back on the subject of the playback format. I would like to see a new format that is an overengineered as the equipment we buy. not 16/44.1 no 24/192 just because it *good enough*. Blah. Let sit down NOW, and decide on a GREAT format, going forward. How many bit, samplerate, scheme, etc? 64bit sampled 4 billion times a sec? fine with me. PCM, DSD, TLA? I don't care. Pick one, hopefully the best one, and let's stick with it! And the D/A designs should be part of the design, and NOT an afterthought!

But I suppose none of that will mean a lick of salt if the recording engineer (is that the guy?) gives us a compromised "mix." Compressed dynamics, no low freq extension, etc. mediocre microphones, mediocre A/D converter, etc.
Another vote for Albert. Audiophiles often go on and on about the importance of the source, but the true source is sat at a mixing desk twiddling knobs and adding effects to make the music sound good in the car, on a boombox, on a walkman .... but rarely on a high end hifi, probably listening through yamaha monitors, too.
AMAN Albert and Sean! I have spent a fortune on these toys for thirty Years. Software is the problem, Garbage in Garbage out! Ken
It has to be the recording phase,like many has responded. Why every thing is fine (almost) when I play exceptionally well recorded CDs (e.g Mapleshade, Reference, Chesky) and falls apart when I play ' Commercial ' titles?
The recording chain (usually dismal in quality) is the weakest link, as several folks have pointed out!
Secondly, hi-level crossovers in speakers cause losses that would be avoided with line-level crossovers designed for a particular speaker. Because we in this individualistic country hate the system approach, we somehow are not demanding our speakers to be matched with dedicated amps and getting those lossy caps, resistors out of the high level signal. We prefer to mix and match our amps and speakers, and the manufacturers are glad to keep on feeding that frenzy.
I believe this point holds true whether you're driving the speaker with digital or analog amplification, that is, the crossover should still be implemented at the line level (or before, at the digital level) where loss of efficiency is lowered.
I do not know where in the chain Meridian speakers, for instance, locate the crossover components. I think Bryston's new powered monitor uses a line level crossover, whcih might account for its good sound. In any case, at least the amps are matched to the drivers.
However, in view of poor general recording quality and the listener fatigue inherent in 16/44 digital, it also makes sense that we prefer our electronics + speakers less revealing! Therefore one hand dirties the other and around and around we go in our audiophilia nervosa, always trying to make up for the shortcomings of our recordings with different matching of components, and all the tweaks. Actually the individuality of the speaker is usually the biggest decision, because one is buying the designer's voicing after all is said and done. It ends up being a very personal decision and one highly dependent on the room one has.
If I may ramble on, somebody posted on Audio Asylum about their experience listening to a system using Halcro amps (super low distortion solid state) and Pipedreams speakers, and several people including him just could not stand the sound! I am betting the source was just not up to the resolution/cleanness of the rest of the chain.
I have also had experience listening to Spectral electronics on Avalon speakers (all super low distortion designs) and would not put such a system in my home, even if I could afford it, simply because on most recordings it was unlistenably fatiguing. Same goes for Wilsons, Levinson, etc.
My 2c.