Extremely High-End "Pre-Pro" Surround Pre-Amp

By all standards, I have excellent amplification (VAC Renaissance Mk II Preamplifier & 300.1 Stereo Power Amp.)

I am in the process of integrating a 5-channel surround system, which uses my 2-channel rig for the main/front L & R, via the preamp's "theatre bypass."

Though I am adding a surround system, I estimate that 85% of my system's use will still be for 2-channel music listening.

My initial plan was to buy a modestly priced surrround processor, such as the Marantz AV-7005 and run the 2 main channels to the VAC pre.

From the music side, I've even considered upgarding my VAC pre to one of the newer models that came out within the past year.

However, before I go down this path, are there any truely "high-end" surround processor/pre-amps that I should consider, and consolidate into one (surround/pre) unit?

By this, I mean are there any that would handle the duties of surround processing AND perform as well or better than my current pre-amp for 2-channel music playback?

It would be nice to have one piece of gear that could work dual-purpose, and avoid essentially having 2 pre's, but I will NOT go this route if there is any compromise to the musical pleasure that I am acustommed to.

So, is there a truely high-end, MUSICAL surround processor out there?

As you probably figured out, I'm a fan of tubes. What are the chances of a tube unit that fits this bill?

Thanks gang.
Hi, I'm not a home theater guy, but I saw something on the "Decware" website- an all tube multi channel preamp. You should at least go to the site and read about it and see if its something that you are looking for. Just a heads up.
Hi again, I forgot to mention the name of the preamp its the ZEN ULTRA, and it retails for $3000.00.
Their really aren't any tube based current pre/pro's, none that I know of that will accommodate HDMI switching and the new codecs of Blu-ray at least.

I have had almost all the upper end AV preamps except the Theta though have heard it many times. For my money the most open and musical are the Meridian 861 and the Krell Evo 707. That said I run the Classe' SSP-800 and an ARC 40th Anniversary in HT bypass for movies and it sounds sick. You won't get the tube sound you crave from a SS AV preamp so keep a hybrid system and the VAC pre if it does you well now.
Yea, to echo the consensus, I'd stick with the two-channel gear you like and then add on a cheaper HT processor or receiver to handle the bells and whistles for the extra channels on movies and such. You can spend as much as you like on the HT gear, and chase whatever level of fidelity you like, but there's no way that I am aware of to equal well considered, tubed, dedicated two-channel gear for stereo playback. If tubes make you go "ah," seems virtually certain that ditching them for a HT processor tasked to pull double-duty for stereo playback would leave you disappointed in the long run. The HT bypass loop is your friend, don't be afraid to use it -- one of the few times in life where you genuinely get to have your cake and eat it too.