Responses from kkm

Rel Strata vs. HSU VTF-2
If you are considering Rel, also look at the ACI Titan II LE. Lost of people choose ACI over Rel including me. They are also mail order only thus the better value proposition. 
Video quality of Philips SACD 1000?
Since you have a HDTV, to get the most from it you should get a progressive scan player, which the 1000 is not. Most people bought the 1000 for the SACD feature. A lot of Progressive scan DVD players can be had for under $200. Check out the Panaso... 
Suggestions for a tube preamp
Check out the Marsh p2000t, tube hybrid, this is their description:The P2000t Tube Hybrid Performance Pre-AmpA superior perfromance tube preamp with triode tube, one of the most linear devices ever developed was designed for the lowest distortion ...