Musical Surroundings NOVA preamp will kill most on your list...and for only $1200. It uses a battery for super quiet back round.
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I had the Musical Surroundings Nova a few years ago and I must agree it is an outstanding unit and dead quiet. I upgraded to ASR Exclusive, and yes it does bring more to the table, but it should for the price difference! I don't think you can go wrong with the Nova. I see them pop up here every once and awhile in the five to six hundred dollar range. A real deal at that price.
The Nova Phonomena is dead quiet even on AC. However, the battery pack doesn't last very long and don't expect any email response from Yee when you try to order the battery kit replacement advertised on his site. Other than covering up the blinking red light with tape because the batteries will no longer hold a change, I don't intend to replace it anytime soon. But I wouldn't buy anything else from them again. Fair warning!
I would have to agree that the Herron VTPH-2 is the choice at any price point. That said, Herron does take VTPH-1 units in on trade. IMO, a used VTPH-1 in your price range is the very best bang for the buck and still an excellent choice in most price ranges. A call to Keith Herron (www.herronaudio.com) is the only way to find out if he has any and the price.