Shaykh Abu Amr Al Hajooree mentions in Fiqhul Akbar 1/82:
Bishr Ibn Al Haarith said:
I don’t know an action upon the face of the earth more virtuous then seeking knowledge and Hadeeth for the one who fears Allah and his intention is good in regards to it.
Qutaybah Ibn Saeed said:
If you see a man loving the people of hadeeth such as Yahya Ibn Saeed Al Qattan, Abdurrahman ibn Mahdee, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Ishaaq Ibn Raahawayh [he mentioned more] then he is upon the Sunnah and he who opposes this then know he is an innovator
All these narrations are affirmed in Sharf Ashaabul Hadeeth of Khateeb Al Baghdaadi Rahimahullah Taala
Majid Jawed Al Afghaanee