Multi format player as transport only

Hi folks. Bought a cheap integra multi format player to hear dvda and sacd. Did it just to see what i would hear.
The analog outs are not worth writing about but as a redbook transport to a benchmark dac and asa sacd/dvda transport via hdmi to a marantz pre/pro sounds pretty good to me.
So this makes me wonder...
Rather than save for the Ayre universal player, what if I put that money into a quality HT pre/pro (my system does double duty) and run the hdmi out of the integra to some real quality DACs?
Anyone done this? Anyone have a favorite pre/pro in terms of 2 ch audio DACs? I would like the used price to be 3 to 5k.