Seriously considering tube preamp…opinions?

Tube virgin, here. I am building a system and I'm trying to contain the preamp/amp cost to $3k or so. (I could go up a little.) 

I'm inclined not to dive into tubes all the way through, but get a solid state on the output end. (Open to suggestions; inclined toward PS Audio, Parasound.) I'm reading around about tube preamps and have talked with my local dealer, who sells Black Ice/Jolida and Prima Luna (PL). He used to carry Rogue but said they kept coming back for repairs. That's why he carries PL.

I'm asking these questions after having established (via reviews, comments) that Schiit gear is quite the value. Lately, I've been reading about Decware and other small tube makers. I'm very curious about buying direct, if possible, and a company that stands behind their products is crucial.

So, your opinions about tube integrated or *especially* tube preamps —

1. Who do you like? Consider I want to do pre/amp for a total of $3k if possible.

2. Do you think PL is worth all that money just for a preamp? I get the feeling they're high quality but a bit over-hyped. (No disrespect to the highly passionate Kevin Deal, but he's all over my search results.) And what would you think about $2k/$1k preamp-to-amp spending ratio?

3. Any sense of what happened to Jolida since the name change to "Black Ice"? I see there's a sordid story there but did the re-branding clear up the mess? Any experiences with the Black Ice company?

4. I know there are many Schiit fans out there; so my question would be -- did anyone consider Schiit for tube preamp and go another way? Or move beyond Schiit for any particular reason? It's hard not to just capitulate and do a Freya+ or Saga+ but why wouldn't one just go with Schiit?

I had a Schiit Saga S and decided to go with a tube preamp. I was leaning toward the Freya +, in part because it had a SS option in case I decided I didn't like the tube sound. I wound up coming across a Jolida JD5T pre on sale (without being able to do a side by side comparison, my research on it suggested that it was definitely better than the Saga + but probably not as good as the Freya +). After having it for about a month, I don't regret the decision. It was significantly better than the Saga S. I'm not sure that it helps you to compare these two preamps, but the Saga S had a clean, neutral (maybe even cold) sound, while the JD5T's sound is quite warm. The Black Ice preamp looks nice -- it looks to be an updated Jolida Fusion preamp with the Foz-SSX sound stage expander built-in (I suspect the old Fusion was better than the Freya +, based solely on specs; of course, with the Freya you have the option of SS and tubes), so I suspect that it's better than the Freya + (though at about twice the cost).
Easy. Schiit Freya+ Tube pre. A pair of schiit aegir monoblock amps. Four xlr cables. Have a fully balanced differential class A, stereophile class a rated system for $2500. Add a node 2i and your in business. 
1. It baffles me, if one can afford it, why one would NOT go tube preamp. 
2. If you are set on buying new you seem to have done a good bit of research and u can't really offer an opinion. But, if you are willing to buy used Conrad-Johnson really can't be beat and has scads of options at many price points. New would be well over $2k. 
Yours is a pretty common story, myself included.  Took the plunge into tubes some years back with a Jolida 502brc integrated and was glad I did.  Love the tube sound.  I was apprehensive at first but nothing to worry about really - piece of cake.  Most of the newer tube gear is easy to bias, some even with auto bias.  I have installed a couple new sets of tubes over the years, pretty easy.  

Then wanted to see what the fuss was with SS/tube mix so picked up a McCormack dna .5 here on Agon.  Was considering a Freya but bought a Schiit Saga + B-stock pre to go with it as a start.  Sounded great, especially for the money!  But, not especially tubey, and not enough gain IMO.  Then recently purchased a Rogue Perseus (again here on Agon) tube pre and am very happy with it.  Head and shoulders above the Saga.  But at around $1,800 brand new that should be no surprise.  Nice tube sound with the control of 100 watts of SS.  

I think a tube integrated is a great start for you.  The Primaluna stuff is nice.  Never owned any but have done several listening sessions.  Still love my Jolida.  I wouldn't ignore the Rogue gear either.  Very well made, and sounds great.  Not sure about the repairs your dealer was talking about.  I haven't heard of excessive quality issues.  If you are going the Schiit route (and it is hard to pass up for the price!) skip the Saga and get the Freya.  If you buy used you can really stretch that $3k budget.  I have less than $2k into the Mc/Rogue combo.  Bottom line: maybe just a little more work with tubes but well worth it IMHO.