Rx & tx amps: recommendations?

Well, I’ve got the USRP & gnuradio working…to the point where
hf_radio.py doesn’t crash, provides me a very low level of background
noise, and not much else. I had kind of hoped that I could pick up at
least wwv with a three meter hunk of wire connected to RX-A, but no
luck. Of course, I had expected to use some pre-amps for a real radio,
and some transmit amps as well. The recommendation from the Ettus site
is for the mini-circuits amps, but I was hoping that people could give
some more specific recommendations as to what has worked for them. I
will be using the basic LFRX and LFTX boards, but also going to be doing
some work with high bands, 1500-2000 mhz as well. Other than
mini-circuits, what other subassemblies are cheap, easy to use,
reliable, and have low noise figures?