Tube Preamp - What to buy?

Looking to take my first venture into the tube world and going with a tube preamp.  My budget is up to $2500 and willing to buy used or new however realize with my budget that used is probably a better path. I would like to have a built-in MM phone stage.  I am use to having a remote and tone controls, so that would be nice however not a necessity.  

For further information my speakers are Revel Performa3 F206 and the current amp(s) is Conrad Johnson SA-250 and I also have a Rotel RB1552.  I many be looking for an amp upgrade in the future, but one thing at a time. 

So far I have been looking at used Audio Research and Conrad Johnson preamps but very open to opinions on brand and model.  Thanks and I look forward to your opinions and experiences.  
Don Sachs here.  I really don't care which preamp you buy, but for people to say my preamp is the sp14 is not correct.  The board is the same.  The board has been improved immensely because I have suggested improvements to Roy.  But, I run the circuit at a different operating point, I have made improvements to the power and filament supplies that are sonically significant,  I use FAR better parts than the kits, I have made numerous mods that are not published.   Plus you get a nice case.   Buy whatever you want, but for some person to say you are "giving" me a $1000 when you could just build the kit is totally inaccurate nonsense posted by someone who knows nothing about it.  Check out the prices for a pair of VCap ODAM caps or a 64 step remote Khozmo attenuator with relay input switching and add that to your kit price.  Gee that raised it by $500 didn't it?  The price of custom panels and a solid cherry or walnut case.   I have spent years improving what is a very good circuit.  I have spent years restoring vintage tube gear and building my own.  Thousands of pieces of gear.  I have heard tons of different caps, resistors, types of wire, etc....   I make choices based upon my experience and testing.  I build the best sounding piece of gear I can and then I price it based upon what it costs to build.   So yes, buy a kit from Roy and you will have a great preamp that will slay most $3000+ commercial gear.  But it won't sound like mine.....  
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@rbmaudio1 Counterpoint gear is not nearly as hard to service as urban myth has it and there is no need to "rebuild" with new boards all the time.  I have 2 of each of the popular models (SA100, SA20, NPS200, and NPS400) and I service them myself.  All the old SA'sI have I purchase them in junk condition and replace the mosfets and they sing.  While every otherexpert will say they need a rebuild or trash them, it is possible to use new production Vishay TO247 Hexfets in them and those output devices are very cheap unlike the mythical Exicons.  
The preamps are real easy to deal with even the SA5000 (not the SA11 though).
Why you guys keep Recommending Rogue audio preamp. Rp 1-7.  These are awful.  Go for Modwright or Cary
+1 @donsachs You make a great preamp which is a stone cold bargain when compared to anything that might be considered competition.