I mean, the end goal for audiophiles is faithful reproduction of the source, right? That's literally why we spend gobs of money on this equipment, isn't it?
Half of us have shitty listening rooms full of nulls and lacking acoustic treatments entirely. Even a pair of low-end Vegas can sound great in a well-treated room. But it's not as impressive as $20K worth of speakers and a $50K integrated amp, is it?
So how much of it is lord helmet-swinging versus an actual desire for truly great audio?
I'm a musician, and my end goal has always been a system that faithfully reproduces sources. But I've noticed a subtle problem with this philosophy - badly recorded source material sounds really, really, really bad on a great system. Because all the flaws are right there, in your face. Hell, I totally hate the record my band released two years ago because of all the problems I hear in it now that I have a system that reveals all those problems. *cringe*
So what is the point, other than maximally enjoying the music you love? If you're into music that happens to be extremely well-recorded, perfectly performed, deep, and detailed, then yes, faithful reproduction is the ideal. Otherwise, it's completely subjective, because your source material will sound better/worse depending on the system you choose, right?
In the end, I didn't answer the poll because of the above conundrum.