I'll always prefer the highest digital download possible to match the original recording. If some fool's original recording is in CD quality then it may not even be worth listing to. MP3s are too dirty for my taste and it is time carry around some HD Flac on the phone.
"The music business has come a long way from the days when buying music meant schlepping down to your local record shop and picking up some hard copy tunes" when did this happen? are we talking about the 50's and 60's, I don't remember doing that with all the free downloads before iTune