I'd check out some of the older NAD pre-amps, which can be bought for $200 and have a great phone stage included. I've been using an NAD 106 and it sounds great.
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The older Bryston pre-amps sell for pretty cheap. Bryston's warranty and service after warranty is impeccible. They charge very reasonable prices for repairs if anything goes wrong.
They can also retrofit phono cards on pretty much anything if it doesn't come with one.
They're not exactly tube like, but probably the safest and most reliable bet for very little cash.