Criteria for a phono stage?

What technical criteria should I focus on when trying to determine which phono pre-amp to purchase?
Forget the technicals other than make sure it has the proper gain settings to fit your desired cartridge.

Obviously, focus on getting a phono pre that sounds good to you, and fits your budget.
Thank you for your response. I have the Music Hall mmf-7 with the Goldring Eroica H MC cartridge. Which of its specifications aligns with the gain settings of the pre-amp?
The Goldring is a pretty mainstream cartridge. I'd think most phono stages would fit fine. It is a "high output" Moving Coil cartridge so would use the Moving Magnet setting on a preamp.

Things usually only touchy when using a very low output MC.
The gain is most important if considering a moving coil cart.
If you are using a MM cart, almost any phon pre you like will suffice.
Remember that NO phono preamp will provide equal gain to another souce (digital!)
Phono pre output has traditionally (along with all other non-digital source components) had under 1 volt outputs.. where digital source components all have AT LEAST 2 volt output.
This trick is a sucker bet to play on the "louder is better" mindset of the common schmuck when digital first arrived on the scene... and has stayed on.
So when you try out that phono section, do NOT be disappointed that the volume has to be a bit higher to play the phono ... that is very normal.
I have the MMF7 and used a 99.00 Cambridge audio MM phono stage with good success, Dynavector p75, But not as good as a Musical surroundings Adjustable model the new one I think it is the Phonomina? It was good, very transparant, BUT I now use a Mcintosh Preamp with built in phono which always associated with good raw MM phono stages built in and it is Far better, Why I don't know but I guess the Cartridge is gonna make the choice on what Phono amps they like best in the end... The main difference and problem with the Musical surroundings, Dynavector p75 was they have no Subsonic Filter in the Circuit and My woofers were always working double time with this and in the end as much as people say this causes no problem I disagree, my bass Is far more controled and powerfull with the Mcintosh phono, I believe it is because of the Implemented Subsonic filter in the circuit, because with all the other Phono amps I listed which are very popular and good cost they make your woofers bounce in and out of the cabinet like crazy... With my current Phono amp they don't Move and push excellent bass. To really get a hold on what subsonic is I might be better letting someone else explain it, but I think you should definatly look for units with this filter on it, I think the Quicksilver Tube phono has this and that is suppose to be a killer phono stage and a favorite for about 700.00. Also the new Cambridge audio MM/MC phono for 199.00 has the Subsonic filter on it, it is double the price of the MM stage for 99.00 that I mentioned but should be an excellent one considering the cheaper version with no filter sounds good to me for the money.

Subsonic is basically Low freq. (like 20hz and below or something) surface noise created from the vinyl just from the contact of the stylus spinning on the surface, basically subsonic surface noise, kinda like rubbing your hand on a microphone but you can't hear it.
Thank you for the feedback. I purchased the Jolida JD-9 and am quite happy with it.
It has 39dB of gain, and is very quiet at signal/noise ratio of 89dB.

I am using one and I think it is good for the money but the Jolida is where I will be going for the LOMC. You get 95dB of gain at LO!!!
Ledzep & Gadfly, I too have had the Jolida JD9 for about four months now and really enjoy this in all Jolida tube based system 100CDP, Tuner and 302B integrated. I am using it with a Music Hall MM7. What a great tube stage phono pre for the $$$! A real sleeper IMHO.