Responses from musicslug

Why vinyl?
I am into vinyl and believe it to be better, for all the well-known reasons, but there are serious quality control issues with vinyl - my sense is that there are more 'weak links' between a good master and a good LP than between the master and a C... 
Five indispensable D. Miles recordings. Pls. recom
In a Silent WayBlue Haze Blue MoodsRelaxin'Bags' Groove(and Kind of Blue, of course...) 
Integrated Tube Amplifier for First Timer?
rogue cronus - third vote... 
Help What Say You - Amp choices
I would add that if no single set-up (and we're talking systems here, since everything besides the amps is NOT equal, right?) jumps out at you as 'the one', that could mean a few things:1. you're just not all that picky and could be happy with any... 
Who is your favorite jazz pianist
thelonius monk, cecil taylor... 
External DAC for Sony SCD-777ES
you might be able to get some improvement with a power conditioner - my experience has been that CDPs benefit most from it. otherwise, I'd audition at length before buying an external DAC; the modded Sony is already up there with the best digital ... 
Considering going Vinyl--Please talk me out of it
best of all, you have to replace/retip those crazy expensive cartridges about every 1500 hours. insanity. 
Anyone else like Nick Drake ?
wow! thanks Viridian for the heads up about the Nick Drake box reissue! (I knew it was too good to be true, but damn!) 
How can I transfer my records to cd? Best quality
I use the M-Audio Mbox, which can be had used for $150. (I'm assuming you have a computer and CD burning capability) It's a slow process: play lp into mbox, create fades, 'bounce to disc' (again, in real time), transfer files to (with my Mac) Itun... 
Anyone else like Nick Drake ?
I'm a huge Nick Drake fan, but I've never heard anyone who's really similar, but I'd consider Suzanne Vega, especially her 1st album and 'Days of Open Hand'. you also might check out Will Oldham's 'Master and Everyone'. Also, Elliott Smith; my fav... 
Tube Amp recommendation
rogue cronus used - you'll never look back 
Best Oddball Record Label?
the king of all oddball labels would have to be Sun Ra's label, Saturn (or El Saturn). those guys go for close to $100 a pop though. fortunately, most if not all of it has been reissued on CDs. I believe he self-released something like 100 lps. 
worse entertainer or performer of all time??
have you heard William Shatner's album 'The Transformed Man'? it's so bad, it was reissued for its camp value. I use it to clear out parties. 
Moving away from tubes. Is this a good idea?
nobody's mentioned the rogue cronus tube integrated; great sounding, good price - a perfect way to get into tubes. 
Do tube pre-amps need bias adjustments?
you are correct