Conrad Johnson ET-3 line stage pre-amp or BAT VK31SE pre-amp??

I  currently have a Balanced Audio Technology VK-200 amp. The amp sounds very good hooked up to the pre-out of a Rogue hybrid integrated  Wanting to push the envelope a bit further, I am carefully looking for a pre-amp that is going to  have a synergy or compatibility  with  the BAT amp. 

There is a BAT VK31SE  for sale which was upgraded in 2003 from a BAT VK30.  I have also seen on AG a Conrad Johnson 18LS (solid state)  pre-amp line stage, It looks very clean and has a remote, but  has only  RCA inputs and outputs, but no XLR connections. (BTW, the BAT units is offered with remote control and a phono stage, and is fully balanced. I operate VK-200 amp using the pre-out of the Rogue integrated by using XLR (male) to RCA made by Signal Audio)

I  read a review in Hi-FI+  of the CJ- ET-3 which offered high praise for the pre-amp's sound quality across the board  The reviewer Alan Sircom's  reviews often seem (to me )overly  enthusiastic  Nevertheless, I called CJ and they still have parts of the ET3, and claimed that CJ considered it  one of their finest SS pre-amps.

Let me cut the issue, the BAT VK-31SE currently on sale has some front panel "glitches" which  makes it  operation almost totally  dependent on its remote.  This  may be consequence of two owners. I don't know. However, I don't want down the line  to ship the unit 3000 miles back to BAT for repair  

  Initially, It may seen like a "no brainer"  to  choose the BAT over the CJ because it is the same brand as the amp. However, the CJ is less money and probably  I could negotiate the price  $300 less. Obviously, I would need to buy a outboard phono stage equivalent to the  phono stage of the Rogue integrated amp.

Therefore, has anyone had experience with the CJ ET3 pre-amp??. If so, is it as good as claimed.  BTW, the CJ-ET-3 SE  is "supposedly" better sounding than original ET-3.   Jeff Dorgay reviewed it for Tone magazine. All comments welcomed.      Thank you     

I would think that you would be better off using a BAT preamp so that you can stay balanced throughout. That said, I am NOT advising you to run out and buy that partially function VK31SE.
There are always more choices than just two preamps on the used market. What is your budget?

I would advise a bit of patience. Better to wait for the right preamp to pop up on the used market than to rush out and buy the wrong one, IMHO.
You seem to be fairly happy with your current Rogue/BAT setup, so just wait for right deal to come along.
I agree, be patience. You are making a decision on a serious upgrade over the sphinx and 1/2 way there.  I thought you wanted a tube pre and wanted a phonostage. I would stick with BAT, one fully functional.

To grogan Good advice, but I am not running out to find a new pre-amp. if something pops up that is a deal, then I will give it serious consideration As you noted, so far I am satisfied with the BAT/ Rogue combo. I have been so impressed with how much more I am hearing using the BAT amp, that I am anticipating what a higher quality pre-amp stage could do for the overall sound quality

To mensch,  I don't really remember mentioning I preferred a tube pre-amp in any of the threads I posted,  Yes, phono stage and remote I will need.  Headphone feature would be nice,  but would be expendable

You both are right about being patient and waiting. I will wait for the right pre-amp and the right deal    Thanks guys.

Sorry, don't know where I got the idea that you were looking for a tube pre.