Yeah, hate is such a strong word... loath would probably fit better... All kidding aside I just never feel the need to use a HE90 when I have one here, same goes for the 009. Too much color for my tastes. My current HE90 with Stax drivers is a very different story though as it is much more balanced over all and has an actual soundstage.
As for the amp, yeah there are three very different versions as they tried to make it good. Best way to check are the anode resistors for the ECL86 pentode section. If yours isn't 47K then it is the wrong version with 4K7 being especially bad.