I've been researching any number of mics in the under $1k category and I find myself not really seeing a lot of difference between them on paper at least and even when it comes to reviews. Since its not really practical to test drive that many mics thats what I have to go with at least to narrow the field a bit. So the questions are these.... Is a $3-500 Audio Technica really any better or worse than a $3-500 mic from any other name mfg? Same question for other price points like a kel HM1 vs AT2020? Finally, 4 figures for a mic just isn't in the cards for the forseeable future as I am upgrading my Pre's and sound card. So, are we talking about night and day differences between say a Neuman TLM-103 and a AT3035 or is it a more subtle improvement? With better pre's these differences would become more pronounced I would assume since there are fewer preamp anomalies to disguise them?