I've heard you speak unfavorably about pre-amps in the past, but my experience has been pretty positive. I live 11 miles from 90% of the transmitters in this area, and use a Winegard preamp because I have two antennas, and use one of them to pick up a station that's 30 miles to the west, while the others are south. I can't get that station without the preamp, and having doesn't cause any issues with the stronger locals.Preamps are for weak signal areas, but the problem with them is they overload easily. Being in a large urban area, there are plenty of signals that can overload them including FM stations for starters.
So, whereas part of your advice is probably solid, that's been my experience.