I have been in and out of so many Hi-Fi stores over the past month and most of them are clearly more keen on doing business (that is, after all, why they exist!) than objectively informing me about what I should or should not consider. Only a couple of guys have come across as genuinely interested and even their input has varied.
What might be helpful for me is a schematic showing the whole picture. Have you come across one? For instance, are you saying I need the laptop as that is what will control the NAS via the router? And how does one connect a DAC to the router? I haven't seen an ethernet jack on the DACs I've been looking at, only USB plugs.
BTW, have been toying with selling my Magnum Audio system (much as I respect Colin Wonfor) and buying something like the Luxman L-590AX Mark II (Pure Class A). (Any idea how one goes about finding how much an old amplifier is worth?) Even found some fetching English speakers to replace my aging Celestions. Have you listened to the Spendor A6Rs? Very nice. But I have to admit I also liked the Wharfedale Jade 5s as they provided a little more oomph. Ah, sooo many choices!