At some point I also considered a MC2300. It's a great preamp, but you need to ask yourself what exactly you are looking for? At any given pricepoint, manufacturers need to make tradeoffs as to how to spend their budget. The MC2300, and generally all McIntosh preamps, are strong on ergonomics and sound good. But ergonomics (remote control, programmable name for inputs, input level matching, phono amp, and other belss and whistles) do have a cost, so those preamps are not 100% focused on sound.
I opted for a Lamm LL2. Low on ergonomics, very high on sound. Other very good contenders along these lines are First Sound Presence, AtmaSphere, to name some VERY good preamps.
FWIW, I couldn't be happier with my preamp. You can read reviews from Marc Mickelson who did a round of reviews like 10 years ago where he compared several preamps in the 5k pricepoint. I think they were for soundstage.