The BAT pre-amps are pretty dang good if you ask me.
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Another option would be the Ayre K-1XE. This preamp is very well reviewed by the Audio magazines (both on-line as well as print). Used they go for under $5K, (and closer to $4K if you only want the line stage, although, the optional phono boards are well worth the price of admission). If you must buy new, (your post said the preamp should "retail" under $5K), the K-5xe is also very good, and would meet your budget constraints.
I use the K-1XE with my hybrid amps, the Lamm M2.1s. They work very well together, IMHO. (I believe I am done looking for amplification equipment for a very long time.)
Good Luck in your search!
I've had a few emails regarding this thread so I guess I need to chime in: the MP-3 is fully balanced-differential from phono input to main output. The output is patented, is direct-coupled and the preamp is zero feedback throughout. It employs a true bi-polar power supply, not unlike solid-state designs in that regard. Even the volume control is balanced, made out of a custom-built switch and made up with fixed resistors.
It was first introduced in 1997 and evolved out of the MP-1 which was the first fully-differential preamp made, so far as we know (fist introduced in 1989).
Don't know if this is late, but thought I would add: I have the sims p5 and am very happy, and the w5 too. Never any strain, neutral and just simply got everything going right, imaging air transparency.
Though now I am moving into tubes and going with the atma's- without ever hearing them but based on a-goner's comments and because as most everyone says tubes are the way to go, I just got the atma's m60 and will get their pre soon.
Will post some comments when things have settled.