Your comment in the first sentence of the second paragraph of your post is revealing. Have you actually listened to the new Bryston BP-26 preamp in your system, or are you ambivalent about doing so because some audio equipment reviewers didn't give it a rave review? I don't mean in any way to sound critical, but with the overall quality of your system, the best advice is: audition the finalists in your own system, AND trust your own ears.
I also own Bryston equipment (see description of my system), and I also have been thinking about adding a good tube preamp, primarily for use with my analog front end. (The other option is get a much better phono preamp than my Lehmann Audio Black Cube SE, and run the signal through the analog bypass circuit in my Bryston SP-1.)
My recent auditions of several tube preamps have reinforced my previous conviction that the "audio quality" differences between a good tube preamp and a good solid state preamp have narrowed considerably in the past five years. One of the preamps (and phono preamps) that I am auditioning (on Wed, Jan 19th) is the Aesthetix Calypso linestage preamp, and its' companion phono preamp, the Aesthetix Rhea (I may post my impressions here on A-gon). Before I make a purchase, however, I also want to hear several good solid state models, and the Bryston BP-26 is certainly on that list.
The January 2004 issue of TAS listed the following preamps in its "Recommended Preamps" list (starting at $2000, and going up to $7500, in order by increasing price):
1. Audio Research SP16L ($2000) (tube)
2. Musical Fidelity A308 ($2400)
3. Meridian 502 ($2600)
4. EAR 864 ($3000) (tube)
5. Herron VTSP-1A ($4000) (tube)
6. Placette Audio Active Linestage ($4000)
7. Sim Audio Moon P-5 ($4300)
8. Aesthetix Calypso ($4500) (tube)
9. Pass Labs X1 ($5900)
10. Hovland HP-100 ($6500)
11. Wytech Opal ($7500)