Is the Sony TA-E1 worth considering?

I want toupgrade my current preamp, which is a Meridian 502. Is the Sony TA-E1 worth considering? How does it compare to the likes of other more recognisable audiphile names?
I had the opportunity to listen to the TA-E1 when it first came out in Chicago at the Sony Store about 6 or 7 years ago. Unfortunately many years have passed but as I recall it was a great piece. I had the chance to buy the TA-E1 a few months ago so like you I did some homework and the general opinion I found was favorable. A lot of folks said it sounded and was built just like the SCD-1, which is still considered one of the greatest players. Somethings to note: I don't think it comes with a remote and it has no tonal controls. Is it worth considering, I would answer yes, but don't think I would pay over say $3,000.
I have owned the TAE-1 and the TAN-1 along with SCD-1 and have to state that the TAE1 is dead quiet and utterly transparent. Buipd quality is the BEST ever- and that includes the Krell and Mark Levinson gear. Unfortunately I sold the TAE-1 and SCD-1 to raise money for a theater purchase and regret selling the TAE-1. I still have the TAN-1 amp and have been looking to get another TAE-1. They are very rare and hard to find with original box (I like to get original packing which to me indicated that the user takes good care). Lack of remote control is no hinderance since you can set level at comfortable level and never get fatigued listening to even higher than normal levels. Most times the listener gets fatigued and has the urge to turn volume down thus necessitating remote control- BUT with TAE-1 you can enjoy hours of music. Just the feel of the volume knob and the smooth precision with which it turns can embody extra layers of musicality to the sound! Grab one if you can (TAE-1 that is).
The last time I was at the Sony Outlet south of Racine Wisconsin, they had a few B-Stock units in the carton. Dont recall the price, but you can do a net search for the phone number and call them.

how do you like the tan-1 amp, how does it compare to the usual suspect, mark levinson, krell, pass..etc
I also own the ML332 amp and the Krell KAV-1500 (the big one rated @300watts/ch for 5 channels). I personally find the ML332 to be a little dark sounding, polite in a sense while the TAN1 has a bit more musicality to offer. Speakers are ML Prodigy. Bass response is slightly in favor of the Levinson, but highs and treble is better with the Sony. Build is definitely superior with the Sony- no questions asked. Infact the TAN1 is similar to the huge Accuphase mononblocs though it is an original Sony design and in-house product. I have yet to hoook the KAV-1500 in system but wull get around to that in 2-3 weeks time.