Many thanks to Dcarol and Orpheus 10 for their helpful comments. FYI, since the time I submiited this thread,I am still batting my head against the wall. I "had" pretty much narrowed the search to AI 3A,and its upgraded brother 3B....and the Modwright SWL 9.0 Signature.
Along the way, another member who once owned a AI 3A, claimed it lacked dynamics. He also heard my speakers, Acoustic Zen... Adagios, but not the Red Dragon Audio M-500 class "D" mono blocks I just purchaed last week. He really like the Adagios and felt the AI3A and its line stage only brother (L2B) were "a tad below the quality of the speakers" He recommended either the VTL 5.5 (now discontinued) or the Convergent Audio SL-1 Ultimate which has gone through 6 upgrades since 1994,and currently sells "new" for approx $5600. He was serious about these recommendations, and seems to know his away around high-end.
The VTL 5.5 became 5.5 series II before it bit the dust for their new line. At least, I found a review on the VTL from 2001 in Stereophile that praised it from A to Z. The Convergent Audio pre-amp, I need to check for reviews, but who can know which upgraded series sounded the best. Both are tube pre-amps. I also ran across a Ayre pre-amp K-5xe(mp) which is the latest rendition of that series.
Dcarol's and Orp10 comments give me more info to make some decision soon. I don't expect a VTL 5.5 to come around soon( one sold quickly with their phonostage this week) or CAT-5 Ultimate....and both, even though, used may be out of my price range
For the record, I have the Acoustic Zen Adagios and Red Dragon Audio M-500 mono blocks( burning in as I speak). Also, a Rega Apollo.... Speaker cable is Hologram 2. I temporiarily using the pre-amp stage of a Creek SE5350 Classic integrated which drove the Adagios before plugging in the RD mono blocks.... Jim