Matt S is a good guy. Difficult to hear though, or diagnose on the internet.
If you want, you could compare with another Esprit in your area (I'm thinking @Pete Inno)
BTW, I sent you a PM.
Atwell, I have been chatting with Bob a bit. I've got some valve noise as well, I'm thinking it's a leak in the manifold as I checked valve clearances about a year or so ago. I'll be pulling off the chargecooler in the next few weeks to check that air line that goes to the fuel regulator. If I find anything I'll let Bob know. Eventually we'll hook up to compare cars, he's not that far away.
BTW, Bob's S4 is the same color as mine!