SET amps

What tubes are a good balance of great intimate sound and budget? Any suggestions for amp kits and builders? $1500 budget Or so. Any options?
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Make sure you have speakers of sufficient efficiency! If you really want to get the most out of your amp, the speaker should be sufficiently efficient such that the amp is never pushed past 20-25% of full power. This will allow the distortion of the amp to be very low; the source of their 'inner detail'.
I think the best value vs. sound at your budget can be had from Transcendent Sound. Most of his amp kits are OTLs but he also has a push-pull KT120 that I think sounds very good. The owner/designer is a bit full of himself and his soft skills suck but his stuff sounds better than it should at the prices charge. See what atmasphere says above about SETs. I found this to be exactly true with 8 ohm 96 db efficient speakers. 
This is a bit over your budget target but certainly worthy of consideration.  The kit comes with Lundahl output transformers and Alps audio grade volume control.  The kit might also come with Takman resistors and Mundorf coupling capacitors.