We should take this discussion off line it's too far off the original posters question but good transistors (like Boulder/ATC etc ) and good digital capture (like Phase/Nikon/Canon) *is* the best!
There are many technical reasons why tubes work slightly better for music in terms of absolute quality, which aren't really relevant here - see A/V forums instead(plus it's a bit of a holy war among many people). But as I said, it's impractical for 90%+ of even high end home users to even contemplate such equipment in any case. I have a good high-end transistor setup myself because I like to listen to music that's loud at times. And I like the turn it on, wait a few seconds, and go aspect as well. 20-50WPC tube amps just don't work for rock, reggae, club, or other modern music. Or home theater. I don't listen to it all the time, but when I do, I want to feel it.
As to the SD-14 being "dead", Sigma bought out Foveon entirely and have recently announced a future SD15 model. So it's not - it's just not one of the major names. And Sigma makes an enormous amount of decent glass as well. Decent enough for a new person's use in any case. Why the SD14 is so cheap is probably because the SD15 will be so much better. But at $1500+, most likely, I'd go with the older model since it has the same sensor.http://www.dpreview.com/news/0809/08092304sigma_sd15.asp
The smart money is on the SD14, IMO. But only because it's so inexpensive for what it is. I'd never spend $1500 on either of them, obviously.
I look at a first DSLR as a tool and not a long-term investment. Use it, and then sell it when you are done for hopefully only a couple of hundred dollars less than you have into it. Cheap as possible is a good rule. If you can find a good 8-10MP camera for $350 new, sure - consider that as well. The best I've seen that's close to that price is the Rebel XS, which is about $400. It also would be a good choice, IMO.