Which pre/pro under 3k?

Hi All,

I recently purchased a new Panasonic plasma (VT60).

To get the most out of it I need to connect to a processor via HDMI. I have an Arcam AV8 that has no HDMI switching/audio. So, I'm planning to replace the Arcam with a pre/pro. The question I need help with is, which pre/pro?

My current system is:
Amp: Bel Canto 500s (250 watts into 8 ohms)
Speakers: Ohm 100 S3 (6 ohms)
CD/DVD: Arcam FMJDV139 (to be replaced by an Oppo 103 or 105)
Synergistic Research IC's and cables

My budget for a pre/pro is $3,000 and 'used' is fine.

I use the system for 50% 2CH and 50% HT.

Thanks in advance for your pre/pro recommendations.
I have sold Arcam over 8 years of time. They still have one of the best musical sound in their price range.

But.....there are 2 limitations; Without roomcorrection Multi channel is never that balanced as with systems as with Audyssey Pro.

2nd limitation is that the stage has no depth. In all tests you Always get the same outcome in depth. When you use speakers who can give a deep and wide stage they will limit the endresults. This is a property that others can do a lot better.

In tests they should tell people how a stage is being build. But unfortunately this is not been tested.
I've had my Anthem MRX510 for a couple of weeks now and love it. It's 100 watt per channel rating seems conservative and ARC works great! It has a nice GUI and its relatively easy to set up and customize. It sounds great for movies and music - I'm quite pleased.
I agree with a previous poster - get the Oppo, go direct to amps, and see how that sounds. Then you can compare that with a preamp in the mix.
..on that suggestion, DO try the Oppo direct to the amp, n see what you get. Then, DO try substituting a class A or B Stereophile rated Preamp into your system, n compare. ...n then you'll know ..n then you can tell the rest of us what you came up with!? (Disclaimer: REGARDLESS of what all the Naysayers who believe that cables n wires make no difference, DO use recommended quality wires between your components! -this way, leaving variable of bad sound down to actual components being the cause..not the wires!)
Avgoround's suggestion of trying a preamp seems an expensive proposition if OP has buy it. The likelihood that an Oppo BDP-15 connected directly to the amps will prove satisfactory is so substantial the cost/value wouldn't seem to warrant the trial unless a preamp is available without purchase.