Everything we review is comparative, on a performance-per-pound basis. Therefore the NAD was praised for sounding far better than most sub-£200 players - hence the five-star rating.
Yes, you can buy better sound, but you'd need to pay (percentage-wise) a lot more money. Budget separates like this excellent NAD allow you to build a sub-£500 system that will seriously outperform a one-box system for the same money, showing true hi-fi traits - good timing, dynamics, detail etc - instead of a style-based compromise.
Such strong starter separates, of course, also offer an upgrade path should people get hooked on the joy of ever-better hi-fi (and more crucially an ever-better musical experience).
I detest the idea that somehow if people can't afford "audiophile" products than they just shouldn't bother. There's always a best option, whatever your budget, and that's what we're here to help anyone towards.