No question that Atma-Sphere's reliability and customer service is as good as it gets. Have not spent any time w one outside of a show, but if you can run all balanced, I would definitely keep it on your short list. One important decision you will have to make is whether you want the ability to use a LOMC cart, and if so, whether you want to go active or transformer for the additional gain required. Doshi is active, as is (I think) the Manley. The VAC and Atma use transformers. If you go transformer, spend some time reading about the ins and outs of primary vs secondary loading, variable step-up ratios, etc. As far as I can tell, its pretty much a cart specific issue. Learning all of that stuff would have required more time than I was willing to put in, so I went active w the Doshi. At this level, I think there is no wrong answer as long as you deal properly w the matching issues; but if you really really prefer chocolate, you ain't gonna be satisfied w vanilla or strawberry, or even mocha so you're gonna have to try them out.