i) is there a general rule of thumb to the order in which one should power things up in the system? Should it be for example: dvd >> preamp >> amp when i power things on and then the reverse on shutdown? ...or the mirror image of that?
As long as no sound is being played, it doesn't matter. If sound is still being played, I'd kill the source first. For power on, turning the amp on before the source gives it a second to get charged up, but you're not going to cause harm with any order.
Some older preamps (not Bryston's) tended to go into oscillation briefly when powered off. If you have one of those, amp off first and on last is a good rule of thumb.
ii) by the way, i've chosen to hook everything into a surge/conditoner that has programable remote trigger support of it's outlets........but i can remote trigger directly off my preamp too.... am i better off triggering 9Bsst directly off preamp or having preamp trigger the surge outlet to power amp off that way?...kind of a convoluted question..
It probably doesn't matter, but I'd have the preamp directly turn the amp on and off via the trigger input, since they are designed to work together. The amp probably doesn't need power conditioning, by the way, but it probably can't hurt, either.
Faint pops are power on/off are harmless. Anything plainly audiable from 10' away is probably not right.