Re: CD vs Vinyl
Sorry, but most of the things BillD says are not verifiable so of little use. I for instance didn't grow up with tubes, and as for vinyl, yes, I grew accostumed to them, but for many years forgot all and went with CDs. So all my opinions are the result of a (recent) comparison, many times starting from disbelief. Since I'm a phisycist I'm always skeptical about unproved or 'strange' phenomena- but that is just the point of departure. (And RIAA addiction is no fact).
I think you should try some little home made esperiment, like taking a vinyl and a CD from the same good master tape, and listen.
Of course there's much difference that comes out from your setup, so you should optimize it too...but that's where the fun is!
And you shouldn't take things for granted-like the superiority of CDs-or even of 5.1 (Did you ever make a comparison? I wanted to do it, but a fair one involved buying 2 more sets of very good speakers and amplifiers...so I'll have to postpone it for better times....)