The Onkyo has worked flawlessly. It definitely is a lower budget deck. I did find a big improvement using an external DAC.( Although,I used it for about 5 years without one.) I'm starting to think that an Audiolab cd transport is where I'll probably end up.
If you are nearby to Horn Shoppe, I would definitely check out his products. He makes some very highly regarded pre amps. It looks like he's always tinkering with something.