Here is my 2 cents,
From what you described so far a tube amp would be fun to play with. I see the Dynaco rebuilds for about $500-800 and I keep stopping myself. I bought an ARC VT-60 and I am astonished by the difference between tube and solid state. For me the tube amp really takes the rough edges off my music collection. In a way I envy you ... it was just $40,000 ago I was playing with the idea of getting back into audio.
Ok, maybe it's not been that bad ... in fact the trick is to watch for a good deal, buy it, try it and if it's not your cup of tea, pass it on to someone else. Put the cash back into the system. I pour a little into the system every year and I am very happy with what I have. There were dark times ... but this forum and the advise of a few good friends has helped me build a system I love to listen to.
I finally got around to trying tubes and I never looked back. To me it's love at first note. The straw that broke the camel's back was a demo of a Jolida integrated amp (telefunken upgrade), a little pair of Paradigm studio 20's and a modded Denon CDP. Man ... it made my system sound like a clothes dryer with tennis shoes in it. I'm now at a cross roads : I'm considering selling off the Levinson amps and picking up a pair of tubed monoblocks.
Rather then sell the farm right off the bat ... I tried the ARC amp to make sure it would have a desirable effect in my home ... on my system ... real world so to speak - it's sweet! I hate the see the Levinson's go ... I spent years lusting after them but I am hooked.
Now I am playing with different tubes and trying to figure what I like. As you can tell from the above posts - there are a lot of well informed, knowledgeable people that are will to share what they know.
Good luck and welcome from an old mule!