I was going to suggest looking into penicillin for that itch, but then I realized that was singularly unhelpful. So much for that. Personally, I cam from a tubed pre (Rogue 99 Magnum) in front of solid state (Bryston 4b-st) to my Concerto (albeit the preamp version) -- so I guess, snark notwithstanding, I'm not qualified to point in the direction you're leaning. No accounting for taste (mine, in particular). If partial to Rowland kit (though apparently not), the new generation gear (Continuum integrated, etc) is meant to be a real improvement. Tubes + SS definitely can be fun, though.