Best legacy preamp-amp combo for $1000, is what?

I am an audiophile on a budget who thinks that affordable used older gear can equal or exceed the sound quality of much of the latest high-dollar equipment. As an example,I personally prefer the sound of my Hafler 915 preamp to both an Emotiva USP1 and a Parasound J3 which I recently auditioned in my system.
My current secondary system consists of the Hafler 915 pre, a Hafler XL 280 amp, an Oppo BDP 83 and a Denon DP61F table with a Blue Point Special cartridge, playing through Vandersteen 2CE speakers.
I'm looking to upgrade the pre (it needs to have a MC phono stage) and amp and sell my current ones, but wonder what legacy components would be a significant step up over what I have. I have recently sold my Integra P304 and Denon PRA 1000 preamps because, although nice, they didn't have the detail and transparency of the Hafler 915. So I know of a couple of legacy components that wouldn't be a step up, but would like to hear what other Audiogoners feel they would be looking for if they were in my situation.
Thanks in advance,
Forte 4 or 4a power amp, Audio Research LS-7 preamp or Reference Line Preeminence linestage
IMHO, dollar for dollar you can't beat McCormack amps such as the DNA 125 with the Vandersteens. There are plenty of pre choices that work, including passive, ss, and tube. Just be mindful that the amp is a little on the sensitive side, so a high output pre might limit the volume pots range with the McCormack amp.
A Yamaha C2a preamp and a pair of Phase Linear 400 Series 2 amps used as monoblocks (just use an RCA shorting plug in one channel of each amp).