The OA2's are used in voltage regulators. One setup is to offer a 150-volt anchor to the cathode of the regulating tube. Another, it's used as a straight regulator. Usually the regulator itself is a dual-triode and each cathode of the regulator has an OA2 attached (one per channel). Your amp definitely needs an OA2 to work, especially if it's a shunt-type regulator, because removing it disconnects the high voltage mains.
The reason they're not popular is because tubed voltage regulation is not. It's much easier, and more accurate, to do with solid state than tubes, if it's even done at all. One problem with the OA2 is that it does not present a pure resistance to the regulator - instead its resistance varies with frequency making it slightly more complex to wire up as a stabilizer. Also, I read in some tube data sheet that some OA2's have radioactive stuff inside them to make them heat up evenly (is this from where the cool glow arises?). If that's true, I would not want to be around one of these should they break.