Have Pre/Power amps had there day?

Deleberately provocative and of course, nonsense, but has the old upgrade path of integrated, pre/power, then pre monoblocks, become old fashioned. I don't want to rehearse all the old arguments, clearly pre/power combinations give flexibility and keep noisy output power supplies and output transformers separate from the low voltage pre inputs. My question revolves around the plethora of quality integrated amps becoming available. They have always been around and some companies like Mcintosh have ploughed a lonely furrow for years.
Most companies still produce statement pre amp/ monoblocks at the top of the range, but integrated amps seem to be appearing at higher points in the range of many manufacturers and also with high outputs in some cases(Music Fidelity have a 500Watt unit now). I am not sure why, is it demand, or improvements in power supplies etc, which allow for high quality integrated amps with low noise levels.
Whatever the reason, over the last few years, the likes of Bryston, Krell, Jolida, Cary, Jadis, Music Fidelity, Art Audio, have bought out integrated amps which appear to garner warm recommendation. So I pose the question again, should we be moving back to the integrated. In the real world, spending our own hard earned cash, most of us will not be buying the top of the range reference products anyway and there are clear cost advantages to an integrated; single chassis, one less interconnect etc, plus theoretical gains if the noise problem can be solved. For example shorter signal paths.
I have taken the step back to an integrated, Viva Solista and am delighted. Clearly there are no universal answers, but have others followed a similar path?
I've went w/ int. amps in order to save space. But, the finest sounding systems that I own are power/pre-amp combinations. In many cases the int. amps have costed more $. Personally I don't believe I'll ever spend big $ for an int. amp.
Blame it all on marketing and generating sales. It seem that in all aspects of retailing there is a constant trend of recycling. For example, the necktie, one season it is the skinny tie that is all the rage, then the next it is completely out of style. The same with single breasted versus double breasted suits. which is better the bikini or the one piece swimsuit. I have my preferences as well as you do. I use clothing as an example due to the fast turnover of the "in" thing in fashion.

Generally speaking, people want something that is different and "new". The manufacturers have to present something "new" and "improved" to keep the market happy.

In this niche of retail, we all are searching for point of reaching audio nirvana. This seems to be a constant cycle of audiophiles. Audiogon and the internet has provided us with a fast way of achieving our "goal".

Kotta has a good point! Space restraints. It is all up to what you hear though. Keep listening.
The amount of pre's and amps still being made tells me no. Even the home theater crowd have plenty of multi channel separate amps to choose from. For those of us who want the very best quality and have the room separates will remain the main choice. Integrateds sure have become more popular though.
In theory I would think one less interconnect in the system would be a plus. Interestingly, Simaudio's well repected line of pre/power and monoblocks, for example, are outsold by their I-5 intergrated. I understand a new moon 1-7 intergrated is coming to market so there has to be a growing market. Look at the beautiful Jeff Roland digital integrated. If I had the cash I would buy the Jeff Roland and forget about separates....interesting times ahead...isn't this hobby great?
I don't think so, integrated only works if your happy with the preamp and the amp in the unit...audiophiles like to explore so integrated is not for everyone.

Also, while there are higher power units on the market as you mention...in the larger picture that number is still very small when compared to power amps, so again...limitations for some.

If your happy, then you have not taken a step back.

I think/hope not. I would prefer to see a trend towards being able to power drivers independently. I suspect that newer digital gear and surround sound may actually make it more affordable to more people in the near future.
I am not sure I agree with fedreams that its a fad, if it is, then it will cost the manufacturers money. Integrated amps are so much more cost effective. This particularly applies to tube amps, where adding an input selector and volume control may add only a couple of hundred dollars to the price. One issue then becomes the quality of a pre amp section. By definition it will only be passive, but the short signal path should'nt make that a problem,. The qualitor of the potentiometer or resistors in the volume control matters of course and as mentioned earlier, the ability to isolate noisy transformers from the preamp section.
I am not suggesting we should all shift to integrated amps, but that the range and variety of high quality tube and SS units becoming available, make that choice a viable and cost effective one, in even quite high end systems.