When I was in junior and senior high school I played around with a lot of electronics stuff, and I really like the look of glowing vacuum tubes (ah, McIntosh amps), so as an adult when I could afford it I bought a nixie clock :)
There was an article in Spectrum a while ago about how digital audio "doesn't sound right". The comments ripped the article and were the most interesting part. One of the links was to this video about "audio myths". Between 1:06 and 5:17 one of the speakers describes a cute single-blind experiment where he got an old tube amp and a SWTPC solid state amp and a switch and ... I won't spoil it for you :) Nice experiment, I think I'll show my students about perception.
The rest of the video is a presentation by Winer and more than you ever wanted to know about mixing, recording, dithering, jitter, distortion, ... and some good quotes like "16 bits through a sound card beats the best analog tape" (I think I got that right). The audio support files are here.