I've toyed with the idea of the Magnum Dynalab Etude, also thought about gutting something like an old VTL amp as a façade. Have to believe the circuit wouldn't be difficult to just engage a pair of meters, just don't have those design skills. I can wield a soldering either just not sure how to layout the circuit.
Went to a demo in Spokane a couple of weeks ago and the McIntosh rep was going on about those cool blue meters. Wondering if that's what keeps drawing people to the Mc.
What I do not miss: Cheap aluminum RCA female jacks on nearly all old stuff. 18 gauge zip cord/molded plug AC line permanently attached... Even on amplifiers. The Rocket Scientist Degree needed to tune up fancy tube based FM Stereo tuners. AM Radio, record CHANGERS, CRT TVs, (I am digressing...)
For me the great awakening was around late 1980's When Hi End jewelry became the norm. Fancy RCA on chassis.. Thick faceplates, and the price of EVERYTHING audio magically doubled or tripled and even quadrupled as if overnight.
So if you really want meters, maybe VU meters that dance to the music would fit the bill.
Realistic (Radio Shack) made VU meters -- the APM 100 and APM 200 (demo clip below).
TEAC VU MB-20
If you can find them second hand cheaply.
Or you could buy an old cassette deck with VU meters and just run a signal into it.
Luxman, Accuphase also have full featured integrated amps with the meters etc. There are a few more out there also that still build them like they used to.
I'm really hopping some manufacturers start including the meters, tone controls etc. Again I miss the functionality of many of the older vintage gear. The Japanese seem to be the only one still embracing full function preamps and integrated amps. shame really as they have proven it can be done right with out the negatives of having the extra stuff in the circuit.