In the world of audio, your sound quality is only going to be as good as your weakest link. The most important parts in the audio chain when recording are the Mic, and Mic Preamp. If both of those suck, so will the end result. I have been dabling in pro-audio since the mid 80's and have gone through my fair share of equipment. You can achive decent results with mid level stuff. I would suggest a Blue Baby Bottle and the PreSonus Eureka Pro Recording Channel (if your trying to stay under 1k). They arent the cheapest pieces of gear, but they will give you good results. The Mic is just plain awesome in the under $500 range, and the pre amp has everything you need to feed your recorder a good signal. The XML mic you mention is ok, but if you really want a good sound, go for the Blue.