SFox - I didn't mean my statement about the tube preamp to indicate a tube preamp would *not* work with the E3s. That is the converse of my statement, and the converse is not guaranteed to be true. If I intended on using a tube preamp, then a wide array of speakers are plausible including the E3s and SS8S. If I intended on keeping the AV8801, then I had to do something besides the SS8s.
SCompRacer - No one is attacking the SS8s or saying the E3s amount to the heavens opening, etc... They are different designs with different pros and cons, and I will not say one is better than the other. One is better than the other only relative to your tastes, your equipment, your room, etc... They are both speakers anyone would be happy with for life. There's no need to get upgrade-itis to the E3s if the SS8s make you happy.
Tommy2Tone - I like everything except rap and country, but most of what I listen to is not well recorded. With the SS8s and AV8801, the flaws in the recordings were just too evident and I couldn't enjoy the music that I loved. I just wanted something more forgiving, more romantic, and I believe a soft midrange and traditional silk dome are a better fit in this regard. But both speakers are sublime on music like on Jim's test disc.