Having heard the improvements out of the Khozmo and being a big fan as a result, I have to give a shout out to Bottlehead's attenuator configuration found in the submissive pre and integrated into the Mainline amp. From the site:
The coarse/fine works well. There's still the one load resistor everything goes through, so that can be upgraded to a naked z-foil
I don't currently have a really good speaker setup, so I can't really compare. Wether this will beat a good shunt or ladder is out for the jury to decide on. As it stands in the mainline, I'm impressed.