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Anyone know much about valve amplifiers?

I was wondering if anyone knew about valve amps.  I have an ancient HiFi rig I want to upgrade.  I have Mordaunt-Short speakers (smallish ones), an ancient but very serviceable Sony PS-1150 turntable with new belt and cartridge system installed, a Technics cassette deck (which will shortly be replaced with a Nakamichi) Technics Cd player and ancient Pioneer SS amp (about 25w p/channel).

What I would like to set up is:  Sony turntable with pre-amp (apparently you need this - any suggestions?) + USB analogue to Dig converter unit (already have this - it was a £50 Snap Music thing from Maplin that looks a bit crappy but does capture CD quality sound for iPod's etc) + connection to notebook (Toshiba p20 widescreen NB about 3 years old for playing i-Tunes, music library & DVD's + tape deck.  Cd player is really little use these days as NB has DVD/CD player.  Could always use elsewhere in the house or sell.

 I listen to all music from classical to jazz - through to rock, electronic, dance and folk.  I'm told a valve amp delivers a nice warm sound - I like the idea of that.  I'm thinking as I have a 4m x 8m room with a 4m vaulted ceiling I probably improve the tiny little speakers a bit too?