Best tube preamp w/ HT bypass under 8K.

Preamp experts, I need some directions. Too many dealers in my area and I don't know where to start. I'd like to narrow it down to 2-3 choices.
Tube and HT bypass a must!
Any opinions are appreciated.
I think you can use a regular pre-amp without a pass-through if you set the volume control for exactly unity gain.

If you order the unit new, the factory can probably put a little tick-mark next to the volume control knob to indicate where unity gain is. Or you can take the unit to a technician.

I know of at least one tube amp manufacturer that offers this as an option.
Without a doubt...a used VTL 7.5!
Read the reviews in TAS and Stereophile, and search AA. As tube pre-amps go, this is up there, if not THE BEST. I have seen these on AudiogoN in the price range you want to spend.
Another option is a used ARC Ref 2, which I own, but I would upgrade to the VTL in a heartbeat if I could afford to.
The 2 recommendations above are good choices but if you are looking for a new preamp in the <$8k range with the features you desire you should definitely consider the new Hovland HP 200. I think it sounds better than the HP 100 and is a visual knockout as well.
Thanks for both responses.
The VTL 7.5 is too much of a preamp for me. I have no room for 2 chassis, but I can swing a small power supply.
I should've also made it clear that the 8K price I posted is MSRP.

Any other suggestions???

Thanks again.
vac reniasance series
m.s.r.p $8000
The VAC Renaissance is actually at the top of my list along with the Hovland HP-200.
Any opinions on it?

everytime i heard VAC products they sounded great
Belles 20A or 21A, both are tube and have HT bypass.