A new Outlaw Model 950 pre-amp. It may have its quirks (no matter what, you will need to have the fixed analog 80 Hz crossover for the 5.1 analog inputs ON for DVD-Audio and/or SACD; if you can live with that then you just jumped its biggest hurdle), but it's still quite decent for the money and has all the major surround formats except DTS 96/24 plus 24 bit/192 kHz DACs on all channels. The remaining software bug was just fixed and any being new units have the latest software.
I'd spend the bulk of my money on quality amplification and speakers. They will be around much, much longer than any pre-amp.
I was shopping recently in this price range. The Outlaw is the only piece that qualifies new with warrantee. I'm sure you can find a lot of used stuff int he area but I wasn't interested in anything used. I have been extremely happy with my Outlaw 950 and highly recommend it.