Need help with Integrated vs preamp/amp

Hi, I am new here and back into audio. I moved into a condo awhile back and sold all my higher end stuff and bought a Denon AV received with KEF surrounds and that was my system. I did keep my Legacy Classic speakers in hopes of one day rekindling my obsession.

So here I am starting again.

I have been doing somer research and have always been interested in the Acurus and Aragon stuff. I am thinking about a used DIA 100 mk2 integrated amp in the $350 range. Then I started looking at a RL 10 preamp with an A150 or A250 amp that I would have reworked with Ken Ealey. That looks like it will cost me around $1400. Then I thought I am going to need a DAC anyways, so why not look at the NAD C375 BEE with optional DAC. Used I can find this around $900. There is my dilemma. I'll be honest, the $1400 is a bit more than I want to spend right now, but I can do that in stages, buying the preamp and amp before mods is around $550-$650 which is more reasonable.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
This is probably going to start a firefight but IMO there is absolutely NO good reason to buy old SS gear when the latest batches of inexpensive Chinese made tube Integrated amps(some w/DACS)will outperform them in every area of musical enjoyment.Legacy Classics aren't to hard to drive if I remember.I would look at some of the lower power Class A Single Ended Tube Integrated amps available through Ebay & Amazon(like the 12wpc,triode strapped KT88 from Nobosound).You should also look at a good headphone rig for blowing off steam in the wee hours of the mourning or when you don't want to disturb others in the condo.JMOFWIW
Digital changes too fast. I prefer to keep the DAC separate. Choose your speakers first and then find a suitable an integrated in your price range and add a good quality Dac or source with Dac inside to listen to music, stream, movies etc.

I for one am a big fan of Acurus amps and have owned at twelve of them.  All have been rock solid with no issues at all and I find them very musical(not warm but neutral), punchy bass/midbass, and very detailed.  On the other hand, the NAD 375BEE plus an outboard DAC is a good option if "bang for your buck" is near the top of your list.

If you're looking for an all in one, Hegel states their digital sections are upgradeable, and can be had used under your price range. 
With a ~$1000 budget I would go the route of an integrated amp and separate DAC. I have a system that includes the NAD 526BEE with a used Music Fidelity V-DAC II. There is a used V-Link II on sale here at AG for $150. I think it would make for a great DAC/$$$, allowing  for greater budget allocation towards the integrated. Find an integrated amp you can live with over the long haul, DACs can be swapped out taking advantage of the used market. I have bought several here on AG. Good luck in your quest.  
Outlaw RR2150...Music Direct $699 and you can return it if you don't like it and get maybe a Jolida if tubes do it for ya!
A good preamp/amp is always better.

His budget is low and separates do not gaurantee better sound!
So I decided to audition a Peachtree Nova 125se.  I'll see how that sounds to start with.  I might still pick up the DIA100 mk2 to try out as well, if I don't like it I can always resell it.  From there I will keep going until I find what I like......
You might purchase the DIA100 first and try it. If you feel it is not ideal then take it along for comparison to other amps under audition.
stalbrecht, I had owned a Nova 125 - not the 'se' version though, for over two years. It's a fantastic integrated amp and I did enjoy it quite a bit when I had it. It has a great DAC, which I think is its main strength.

A few months ago, I purchased B&W CM10s and the limitations of the Nova were immediately apparent. What used to sound clear and sparkly became harsh, to my ears at least. But my biggest gripe was that there was hardly any base.

I replaced the Nova 125 with a Parasound A23 and P5. And I can tell you from my experience, that this combo far surpasses the sound I was getting from the Nova. Although, the A23 has the same number of watts, it really takes control of my CM10s. So far, I'm loving the sound.

I might move up to the A21 when funds are available, but I've become a Parasound fan after trying Peachtree, Rotel (separates) and NAD (a few years ago).
I received the Nova 125se and so far I can't complain.  The DIA100 mk2 arrives wednesday and I will starting comparing them side by side.  The problem is that I need to get an external DAC for the DIA100.  Any suggestions on that?  I am looking in the $400 range new or used.  
As a longtime PTA owner I can tell you swapping out the unbranded Chinese tube for NOS will move the amp into another level of performance.As for a DAC what inputs do you need?Without knowing I'ld recommend the Peachtree Audio DAC iTx.