Wow.... he sold me some =C= EL34's last fall. I put them in an amp for the first time a few weeks ago. Blew the fuse immediately, one of the =C= wasn't lighting up, leading me to believe it was bad. I put the JJ's back in that were in it originally (and a new fuse), amp worked 100% fine.
I sent him a PM a week or so ago, but noticed he hadn't logged in since December.
Seems like he had good a good reputation around here, but yeah this is annoying. Glad you made the thread pstar.