I'm mostly looking for a quiet, clean preamp to control some powered desktop speakers, and this looks like a pretty great option for that. Not sure what else is out there as far as entry-level preamps go, but RCA outs on the THX One would have to be a necessity (for me anyways).
I do think given the competition, that $150 makes a lot more sense for what you're getting. How much of an improvement over Schiit, JDS Labs, or even Monoprice will this be? I'm sure it will sound excellent. That's not the issue.