need tube amp advice

Hi all,
I'm not a very experienced audiophile and just had a few solid state integrated amps in my system so far. Encouraged by many threads here on Audiogon and also by listening to some equipment at the HT show in NYC, I got really curious about tube amplification and would like to give it a try.

My current system is pretty simple (and I'd like to keep it as simple as possible): Audio Physic Virgo, Sim Audio Moon I-5, Rega Planet (ok, that one should be upgraded soon, as well). I'd describe the sound as very detailed, accurate and neutral (which I like), but also a bit dry and uninvolving at times (which I hope to remedy with tubes). Now I'm considering several options:

1) getting a tube integrated - seems like the Cary SLI-80 could be good choice, also the price (used) is very well in my limits (around 2.5k$). What would be the next step up from the Cary (integrated amp)?
2) I could use my I-5 as a pre-amp and hook it up to a tube power amp. Most people seem to favor the BAT VK-60 or the Audio Research VT100-MK2 with the Virgos. Would these match with the I-5 as pre? Anybody ever tried that combination?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,
There have been any number of threads reagarding the best amps to drive the Virgos. Be sure to search and find them, they are very informative. For someone who claims to be inexperienced, you have put together an impressive system and you seem to have a good grasp as to where you want to go with it. I suspect you need less advice than you think. Best of luck.
Either one of the amps VK and Audio Research would be great.
As you have read I'm sure there are some great deals on amps and pre's used.
Good Luck
I went from a ss Classe integrated to the Cary SLI-80 and found what I was looking for. Maybe you should try it? After I settled on the Cary I worked on cables for a while too.
I recently made the jump from ss to tubes and i am very very pleased. I dont know your speakers at all but can say that my VK 60 is an awesome amp, it powers my Soliloquy 5.3's very nicely.
I listen more now than ever, tubes are the real deal.
Thanks everybody for the feedback. During my research, I also came accross some DIY kits, like the Welborne Labs Laurel SET amplifier. Looks sweet, but is 8 wpc for a 90 dB speaker enough (i don't listen too loud)? How do they sound?
There are also these Cary CAD 300SE-LX20 mono blocks here on audiogon. Very tempting, but a tad on the expensive side. sigh...