In case anybody on this forum is in the market for phones and headphone amps, there are periodic meetings of headphone aficionados all over the western world, scheduled through head-fi.org. These are informal gatherings where you can listen to other attendees' headphones and amps, compare yours, and talk to vendors and amateur preamp builders and so on. I've not been to one yet but will be at the SF meeting next month to try some high-end Sennheisers and whatever else turns up.
Equipment runs the gamut, but there tends to be some snobbery on the board, biased towards the primo studio gear and dismissive of cheap stuff.
Others are scheduled around the same time or in near future in Florida, southern Washington State (Centralia), Plano TX, other USA sites, Alberta and Ontario CA, Melbourne AUS, NZ, Denmark, and others.
Thanks for the info Doug, I always wanted to attend one of these meetings, mainly to trade or sell some of my older headphones. One is due in Chicago in June.
The head-fi forum is an interesting place to visit. If you are looking for some new cans, you will find a wide range of opinions and information to help you make a decision, especially if you want to spend more than the average person for headphone equipment.
There you will find people willing to spend thousands on high end phones, amps and cables. (I remember some time ago, that there was a headphone amplifier listed at $200,000 for sale, although I believe the street price was somewhat less than that amount!)
You will be amazed at some of the discussions in the main head-fi forum and the associated equipment forums, where people will put forth arguments for "burning in" high end phones for hundreds of hours before they are supposed to sound best, spending $200 on an extension cable, or at least $2000 to get a good headphone amp.
It would be fun to try some of the higher end equipment at one of these meetings, but I seriously doubt I could tell the difference between headphones that might cost several hundred dollars more than any of the ones I currently use.