What to buy with $2000?

I have been out of touch from high end gear for about 4 years. I was the proud owner of an AR LS5mkIII. I should have never sold it. I had a Blue Circle BC3 Galaeta. And now its time for a new pre amp for no more than $2000. I am interested in the AR LS 16mkIII. How about a quick education on other options.
Thanks Kindly,
Take a look at the Joule Electra LA-100 MkIII here in Audiogon for $1700. This a very musical preamp that has a bit more transparency than most tube preamps. It is extremely quiet and uses a very short signal path. Dual mono design and Purist Audio wiring (some have Cardas wiring). A very clean point-to-point handwired preamp. Signal tubes are mounted on a a special board that absorbs vibrations. Uses a 5751 with a 6350 as the mu follower in the signal path. 6EM7 and OA2 tubes in the power supply. I have had mine now for about a year and love it.
It handily holds its own with preamps costing far more.
Jonathan- New or used? Tube or SS? Remote?
as before...start with speakers and work backwards. the ar's are a good choice. nothing has changed in four years except prices continue to go up on everything and dealers continue to go belly up.
I definitely would vote the Joule Electra LA-100 Mk III.

A non-upgraded version if possible.

I love mine. The remote is a nice option as well.

Best of luck.
Another vote for the Joule LA 100 Mk. III. They also hold their value very well, indicative of a well regarded piece.
For my money I would go with a Joule LA 100 or a First Sound.
I used to own them both and would have no problem going back to them.
arc ls25mk1...a little easier to tube roll than a ls5...
Technology and circuitry have changed. Price is not necessarily a pre-qualifying criteria. The Modwright SE 9.0 for $2300 will clearly outperform any other preamp under $4000. I would never have believed it if I had not heard it. See if you can squuze a couple more dollars and give this a listen.
I second the Modwright, I have one of the beta units & love it. I would highly recommend one.
Just for the sake of trying something diiferent (and will not cost you a lot while you decide) ---- please try an Axiom Passive preamp ($125.00 us). I received mine some days ago (sold my Premier10) and is just doing great.


(ask for the caddock version. worths the extra money)