Cary SLP-98 vs. other high end preamps--C-J, etc.

Has anyone compared the SLP-98 to any other preamps like the C-J 17LS (or any other C-J), Joule Electra, or any of the VTL preamps? I guess I'm basically trying to get an idea of how good it really is compared to others I might purchase in the $2 to $3K range, new or used. I've owned a VTL 2.5TL, would the Cary be an upgrade to that? Right now I'm using a CJ PRF (SS), so I realize the Cary is probably opposite in many ways to that. Asking because I don't see the SLP-98 discussed as often. Rest of my system: C-J MF2500A amp, Cary 303-200 CDP, Fanfare tuner, B&W M802 SIII speakers. A C-J preamp is probably an obvious choice for me, but I've gotten intrigued by the Cary. Thanks in advance for any info!

Thanks, Cmach, for your feedback on the 17LS, it sure sounds like a great pre-amp, from everything I've read. But I have another question for SLP-98 fans: are the oil filled caps worth it?

thanks again, steve
I looked into a SLP98 myself and could not find much info on it. I do remember reading where someone preferred it to a VTL 5.5 and a Rogue 99 Magnum. He thought it was a stones throw from the CAT, so pretty darn nice if that is true.
I own a Cary SLP 98 with phono and have never been dissatisfied. It is one component that has not been back in the box to re-sell in my upgrade frenzy. A couple units you should look into before making a choice: First Sound tube pre-amps made in Renton, Washington and Klyne solid state pre-amps made in Chehalis, Washington. Neither are cheap, but the word on the street is that they rank with the best made, period. Both companies have websites. In many ways the pre-amp is the most important component in the deck, EVERYTHING runs through them, they are your one common component among all components. Klyne makes both line stage and phono stage, First Sound makes only line stage. The Cary is an exceptional value, very reliable, sexy and delicious sounding up and down the frequency range. Huge outboard power supply. A good set of tubes from Vintage Tubes in Michigan and the unit sings, very nice.
I own Cary SLP-98P and CJ-16LS MKII. They have diffrent tastes of music. SLP-98 has more bottom end but less lush midrange whereas CJ-16LS MKII has an awesome sweet midrange when listening to vocals but lack of bottom end. I had CJ-17LS before but I upgrade to 16LS which I love its lush midrange.
FYI CJ-17LS can not be upgraded to LS2, which is replaced by 6H30 tubes (power tubes).