Looking for Pre/Pro with great 2 ch sound

I'm looking for advice on pre-pro's with emphasis on 2-channel and multi-channel music performance. The budget is around 1500 for a used unit, or maybe up to about 3000 for a new one.

The leading candidate so far is a used Anthem AVM-20/30. I've read great reviews on their sound quality and the older ones seem like a good bang for the buck. I'm not concerned with HDMI or every last surround sound mode. My other candidate (if I can swing it) is a Linn Unidisk SC. If I go that route than it obviously combines a great disk player with the pre-pro. Any other ideas and/or opinions?

I have an AVM 30 with a PVA 7 amp. It is nice with two channel. If you don't mind some of the dsp's then the anthem has a nice mode which accents the front 2.1 channels but fills in the rear two channels with ambient sounds. It doesn't sound quite so hoaky as other surround formats. I use it often when i listen too two channel music on my HT setup.

Proceed has always been associated with Levinson through Madrigal as far as I know.

I bought my first Proceed products, a PAV and Amp 2, in the early to mid '90 period, and still have those units, as well as a PAV/PDSD pre/pro pair, a second Amp 2, and an Amp 3. The Proceed stuff has been reliable and sounds fine to me. The PAV/PDSD pair was replaced in the Proceed line by the more practical and cost effective single chassis AVP, AVP 2, and AVP 2-6 series. The PDSD was essentially a card cage with great upgrade flexibility potential, but the idea seemed to have been dropped at some point; the PAV/PDSD was a pricey pair.

I was very pleased with the 2 channel (direct) capabilities of my old factory upgraded Acurus Act 3 (upgraded to Aragon Stage 1 status), as well as the unbeatablely dynamic, clear, and detailed PCM/24bit/DD/DTS playback! This piece is very very rare, as they only moded a few of these units. But, I've never found a better DD/DTS pre/pro for movies, PCM, or direct analog through all input on the unit! Much more refined and balanced than the old Act 3. Worth a peak around (no HDMI switching, or anything. But otherwise, superb! - can be had around $1200 range used. Which is a steal, since the factory upgrade alone was $1100!
I have the Anthem AVM50 and Anthem Statement P5. Love them both! Video is great and 2CH is very good. Not as good as the Statement D2, but still sweet!
I would not buy a pre/pro based on video capability. I use a 3-in 2-out Octava HDMI switcher with my Proceed PAV/PDSD with excellent results. The PAV was said to be SOTA for S video, but who cares about S video now? Before HDMI, I took component video from my Direct TV HD-DVR and Sony 9100ES DVD directly to my Sony 36 XBR. Now I take HDMI from the HD-DVR and a Sony PS3-80 and to a Sony LCD monitor (that I plan to replace with a Sony VPL 50 or 60 front projector). My Sony 9000ES, back from Sony Laredo, provides stereo CD and SACD. Not sure what they did, but it sounds great now.

The constant is the excellent stereo I enjoy. At one time I thought to simplify and bought a penultimate Sony receiver. Much to my surprise, the spacious transparency I so enjoyed collapsed, much like a souffle that fell. Needless to say, I reinstalled the Proceed stuff. I gave the Sony receiver to a friend; it was a big step up from the Sony receiver he had.