I agree that the difference is tremendous. I used to work in a hifi shop, at the time when SACD players made debut and you can't compare MP3, CD to SACD. The clarity, definition and range is about something else.
Until recently I worked for a hifi manufacturer in the UK, but must admit I own next to no high-end kit, despite being able to buy it at a cost price. The reason? Hifi has still the attitude of bearded-men in macs (the coat not a computer) and struggles to innovate in the era of convenience and instant consumption. The only notable brand is B&W.
Whilst I like and appreciate when my favourite music is played on a top end CD player with a pre and power amp (Myriad was our brand) through some Q-acoustics speakers, the truth is I'm more likely to play it on a mobile phone, pumping it over bluetooth into my car or home stereo.