I can chip in with my personal experiences.
I have used a Gold Note DS1000 MK2 DAC / Streamer for the last few years and really appreciate it's warm and smooth sound.
A friend had a SOtM sMS-200 Ultra Neo SE network player streamer for sale so I asked to try it.
I wired it in to my standard switch and used a standard usb cable to connect it to the Gold Note DAC.
I switched between the two. The Sotm was a leap ahead of the Gold Note's own network player input.
The conclusion that I took from this is it's better to separate the two processes. Keep the network player and DAC separate so you can maximize the value and quality of each.