Our goals in high-end audio are varied. On the one hand we want the system to recreate the sound of live musicians playing in our room. With few exceptions we have not gotten this to happen and with current equipment probably never will. The achievement of this lofty goal for all music types requires a tectonic shift in all we do.
So we fall back to the position of the hippocratic oath to do no harm, reproduce exactly what is on the recording without affectation. But this too is a loft goal, rarely obtained and here is why: we don't know what was on the original recording. And even if we did who has it right? It was pointed out to me by Paul, a commentor to this blog, that only listening to a recording on the studio monitors that mixed the original would give you the same.
Our systems cannot be perfect pass-throughs and, after listening to a number of studio monitors playing original mixes, I am not convinced we'd want them to.
No, I think our goals are simpler than all that. We each want an illusory performance that connects us emotionally to the music. More than that and I think we're kidding ourselves.