Nova Phenomena vs. E.A.R. 868P

I've decided to buy an E.A.R. 868 preamp and I'm having a little difficulty deciding whether to get the phono stage that comes with the E.A.R. or buy a separate Nova Phenomena phono stage. Unfortunately, I would not be able to audition any of these components and that is why I'm asking for your input.

There are different things about each that appeal to me. Particularly, I like the potential quiet of the Nova, but I also like the crisp and airy sound of high quality tube gear. Both of these attributes contribute to my enjoyment of music. I'm curious if there are any "tube guys" like me out there who have been converted to ss by the nova or another ss phono stage? Can the Nova hang with the musical presentation of the E.A.R.?

In my system I have a Pro-ject 9.1 tt with the stock carbon fiber tonearm and a Sumiko Blackbird cart., a Levinson 433 amp and B&W 804s. I listen to, in order, rock and roll, bop jazz and some classical.

I know this is highly subjective and that's what I'm interested in: your informed, subjective opinions. So feel free to let 'er rip. Thanks!
I don't know about the specific models you are asking about, but, as a general rule, there are considerable advantages to a built-in phonostage: the combination is much more likely to be compatible and synergistic; you save on a pair of interconnects (good ones are quite expensive); and you eliminate the sound degradation inherent in RCA connections.
I owned a Nova Phenomena, ProJect 9.1 with carbon fiber arm, Benz Glider 2 med. and a CJ Act 2 preamp. As good as the Nova was I always wanted a little more of everything and sold the Nova and replaced it with a Pass XOno. I wanted to find a tube phono and was looking for a used Ear 88PB for months but gave up and bought a Joule LAP 150 Mk ll and sold the ACT2 and the XOno
In my opinion the Nova won't be enough for you as you have a refined preamp and will want more "of everything". The Nova has a wonderful sound you could call "warm" but not as full as tubes, I say buy the EAR phono 834P, you know it's very good and save the hassle of rolling equipment plus you'll be more than ready if you decide to upgrade your cart and/or TT!!!

I'd get the 868/88 phono section myself.
The 868/88 is a very good solution but you are limited to that one phono and if you don't like the sound you have no alternatives but to sell the 868 even though you may like this linestage. I'm in exactly that situation with the LAP and may eventually get separates again when I want to upgrade and have the freedom to mix and match.
Some very nice systems on AgoN use the 834P and I think it matches your current analog system fairly well. If you upgrade your TT/arm/cart you can have it modded or change phono to tube or SS.
868 P&L is a killer pre-amp. It's coupled transformer design not like the other. It has various cartridge loading for MC making it compatible with wide cartridges available. It sounded so smooth, dynamic & a VERY GOOD TONAL BALANCE. It is designed to be a 'classic Hifi gear', not as a 'marketing' item. Meaning you will not expect a series II, Reference II after a year so.

Using 868 phono will save you on cables & power cords making it practical.