old thread, but what the heck.
You can get a good BAT tubed pre for around $2k, and a used Simaudio/Bryston/Krell SS amp for another $2k used, for total of $4k. And these are 2013 prices!
I have been VERY happy with a BAT VK-300x SE that I have used for 5 years, a pre tube hybrid amp using 6H30 tubes and 150 watts of BAT with Six Pack, BAT Pack for more readily available amps.
But I want to go to separates too and keep the pre a tube and the amp a SS. My plans are for a BAT pre and a SS amp like Simaudio, maybe Bryston or Krell, as I am looking for SS with a bit of a bite. But I've never owned any Brsyton or Krell equipment.