I've seen quite a few threads about pre's and noticed most of the fuss is over their character or sound. I assume that most good pre's have some sort of special circuitry enhanced by industry vets as their signature series. My question is, are there any other means of obtaining a sweet sound without spending $2000 or $3000 bucks on a signature series pre? And what pre's should I avoid? Will a good s/w pluggin give you what you can get from one of these pre-amps?