Best Line Stage

What in your experience is the best line stage tube pre-amplifier you have had an opportunity to listen to in the $2,000 - $3,000 thousand-dollar range (used prices)? If you have the time, please explain what you value most (detail, tonality, sound staging, dynamics etc), as this will give everyone some insight into the performance of your choice for best pre-amp.
Used, I would head straight for a vk-30SE. I would guess you can get one for under 3K. The transparency, dynamics and drive of this preamp win it for me. I've heard it in the same system as my old ARC ref1, and felt it was no contest. There is a transparency and drive to the 6h30 tube that gives it this quality.

Next in line would be the vk-5i.
Blue Circle BC3 Galatea.
You can read all the review comment links in this Audiogon advert yourself.
BC3 Galatea

If you will go up to $3250 used, then the BC3000
I'd add the Lamm LL2 Deluxe to the list. It soundstages very well, particularly with its layering of images, has a pretty neutral tonal balance, plenty of dynamic punch and a naturalness to its presentation like the real thing. Its only flaws in my system were slightly rich bass reproduction (actually pleasant to listen to) and a slight forward quality in the treble, so some instruments like triangles could jump out a little from where they should have been in the orchestra. Overall, a very balanced design that does everything very well. In addition, while I haven't heard it in a long time, the Jadis JPL should probably be on the list, particularly if you like a little tube richness and body in your presentation. Jadis equipment, while perhaps not the most neutral, is among the most natural and realistic sounding, particularly for classical and acoustic music (less so for rock and electronic music).
Supratek, you also get amazing phono with it as well.
One of my friends just got htis preamp, I am very impressed with it.

The best tube line stage I've heard in the $2-3K price range is the Sonic Frontiers Line 3. I like the features, conviences, flexibility, construction and most of all the neutrality. This unit offers the harmonic integrity, liquidity and 3D quality with out the flabby bass, gushy colorization and high impedance out-put that tubes are noted for. Damn shame they stopped making them.

Joule LA-150. Sweet and dynamic
Joule LA100 Mk III and First Sound Presence. Owned both and while different, are outstanding linestages. I would happily live with either of them. For detail and transparency, First Sound. For soundstage and that silky smooth (not top be confused with overly warm and lush) presentation, the Joule. There is no such thing as best. And it depends on the amp in which you plan to use.