Re: your last point. I believe the skill of selling high end audio is somewhat lost in the C.I. industry. Too many people have moved onto only selling Sonos or in-ceiling speakers and claiming it to be the best people can get. You're spot on, installing a few McIntosh amps, a source and a pair of speakers will probably take an hour (unless you're setting up a turntable), and net you a bucket load of profit.
This industry is not getting cheaper and cheaper, we're simply convincing ourselves that we have to push the cheapest option to customers. #makesonosgreatagain