I have owned the Mac C-46 and the Levinson No.380S, and I have auditioned (in my living room) the Levinson No.32 Reference, the VTL TL-7.5, the Ayre K-1x, and the 2 latest upgrades of the CAT. I have also auditioned the Musical Fidelity A3.2cr. I own the Musical Fidelity A308cr. I agree with you. The A3.2cr is as good as any of them, and a couple of the above are 5-figure outlays. You get bragging rights with them, but no better sound. I bought the A308cr instead of the A3.2cr because I got a demo-deal that made it too much of a bargain to pass up. It sounds identical to the A3.2cr but is capable of swinging a bit more voltage. I still own the VTL, in a different system in a second house. It is just as good, but no better. Plus, since it is a tube model, you have to baby it -- i.e., take care turning it off and on, warming it up, etc. You could hit ANY of the Musical Fidelity preamps with an axe, drop it on the freeway in front of a semi, pick it up, plug it in, and leave it on for the next ten years, and it would STILL work, probably sounding better for the burn-in. It is as transparent as any active preamp I have heard, favors NO part of the frequency spectrum, and can put out enough voltage, with no overload, to drive 200 feet of cable. It is dynamic as hell, probably because of its ability to swing so much voltage. The ONLY area in which some of the more expensive brands can "beat" the Musical Fidelity is flexibility: the Musical Fidelity has no balance control (which, to me, is a plus, because it takes about 3 grand off the price tag/quality ratio) and no second set of outputs. If you want transparency and reliability, and you need a balance control, better pull out that wallet and pony up the big bucks. I am glad you did this review because it exposes a silly (and expensive!) myth: brand-name prestige + high price + reviewer hyperpole + dream factor = greater quality. Your review is just as good as any I have read on this site. Happy tunes!