I own a pair of BEL 1001 MK IIIa amps, which I use bridged mono to drive Aerial 10t loudspeakers. Yes, Tom Miiller and others have been raving about them for years (at least since the MK II versions). Do they deserve hype? I would say so from my experience and based on the experience of other audiophiles whom I respect and who have had the luxury of trying most of the good amps out there. It is true that BEL amps are not carried by a lot of dealers, and the fact is, not that many are produced and one usually has to wait to get them. Although they have been in production for over 10 years it is rare to see them advertised on the used market, and when they are they don't last long. That, I believe, says a whole lot about what people who own them think. Prior to owning the BELs I used Rowland mono blocks and then a Classe CA300, both very nice amps, but in my system the BEL was a significant improvement. As to Theduke's description above of an early (12 years ago) version of this amp, I cannot comment since I've never heard one. However, his description of the sonic character of more current versions of this amp could not be more inaccurate. If anyone is interested in knowing more about this amp then I suggest reading what Tom Miiller has to say as he goes into great detail and has a lot of experience with the different versions. As to the question above as to whether or not it is a class A amp, yes it is, and these amps do get hot! Yes, the heat sinks are not that large, but keep in mind that the BEL uses only two output transistors and it is rated at 50 watts per channel in stereo and 200 watts bridged. Not a huge amp by any means, but it will drive most anything. I used a single MK IIIa for a year or so on my Aerials and was quite satisfied. However, the addition of a second BEL was an improvement with this speaker and worth the extra money. For those who are interested, the rest of my system consists of: Audible Illusions 3A preamp;EAR 834P phono preamp;Well-Tempered Labs Reference turntable and arm;Grado Reference low output phono cartrdge;Audio Logic tube DAC (here is another piece of gear that deserves all the praise it has received and also will not be found at many dealers);CEC TL2 belt drive CD transport; Image Reference interconnects and Cardas Speaker cable. Hope this helps those who might be interested in these amps. There are many fine solid state amps available, and I would never say BEL is the only one worth owning or considering, but I do believe it is one of the best out there. Although very simple in design, it is beautifully built and very reliable. I for one have no intention of selling mine!