Responses from danner

What is pink noise?
Pink noise being equal energy per octave (or even more importantly equal energy per one-third octave) divides the frequency spectrum in a manner similar to the human ear. One-third octave spectrum analysis and equalization often results in a corre... 
What's your favorite instrument to listen to....
There's nothing quite like an excellent cello performance reproduced on a tube system for me. 
create a system for 2K
I think the Harbeth/NAD recommendation is a good one. --Though a few of these components have recently sold, I thought the Moth Audio 2A3 integrated (1100), Soliloquy 2A3 monitors (500), and a Rega Planet 2000 CDP (500) would have been a nice comb... 
2A3 vs. 300B single end triode....
Since my budget doesn't provide for a Berning custom designed and built amp (though I did buy twl's microZOTL for headphones when he parted with it for his new unit -thanks twl), I use an AES SE-1 which can use either 2a3 or 300b tubes. I much pre... 
MERLIN TSM-M and surround speakers?
There's a pair of TSMs here on Audiogon for 1050. 
Who is your overall favorite guitarist?
Paul Galbraith 
On a budget I use 3 ASL Wave 8s for the front three channels ($119 each) and Adcoms for the other 4 in a 7.1 setup. My speakers are all Soliloquy and I like the results. 
Audio Electronic Supply SE-1....
I use an SE-1 with Merlin VSM-Ms (91dB/w). Sophia 300b tubes make this a great inexpensive amp. 
Who Does the Best Mods on CD Players
Sean's advice sounds solid. I'd include Dan Wright of ModWright (www.modwright.com) in the list of people to talk to. He modified my CAL Delta with excellent results. 
Classical music for Rockers
Try something a bit on the contemporary side: Leo Brouwer; György Ligeti; Elliot Carter; John Adams; Arvo Part; Henryk Górecki . . .Not everyones' cup of tea but if you like abstraction, these are great. Give them a listen on Amazon. 
So you're an audiophile - are you also a musician?
Home studio for (in order of interest) voice, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard. I've almost finished rewiring the whole studio with DH Labs BL-1 (the best I could afford given the amount of wire needed) and it made an incredible difference. 
artists who most deeply touch you
Jacqueline du Pré 
300B-PP for Merlin TSMM
Like Twl says, it depends on your listening preferences. I use a 300B 8w SET on Merlin VSMs and am very happy but I don't play them loud. 
Which headphones should be purchased?
I use the Etymotic 4P (higher output with slightly rolled off highs re 4S) for exactly the purpuse you describe. They're great and easy to pack! 
Whats up with Merlin?
I also have Merlin VSM-Ms and have had similarly great responses to emails from Bobby. I considered the TSMs but preferred the VSMs. I use the VSMs in a very small listening room (7.5x10x8) with great results. I purchased mine from Signature Sound...