Those Plinius are nice. I remember awhile back someone posted a picture of one with the top cover off over on DIYaudio.com--everyone was gooing-gaaing over them, we were especially impressed with the heatsinks. (kind of like audio porn) I agree better speakers would really help, maybe shovel a little money that way. I've heard the top of the line NHT's and was--bored. I think in an interview NHT designer stated they pay about $15 for the tweeters mass purchased and they'd cost individuals closer to $80, if I remember right. And big cabinet like that are always a nightmare to brace and for the cost accountant. But I would find a nice pair of mini-monitors if you really want the music and don't want to break $2K, or do a kit speaker. I wouldn't worry about the compatability issue between different makes cdp to pre or pre to pwr-usually its not a big deal. Sorry I can't say much on the preamp (other than plug for the one I have up for sale), but you may have change leftover to put towards a pre depending on what you do with the speakers. Just get a nice SS pre unit.