Linear Tracking Turntables - Best??

Entertaining the idea of acquiring a linear tracking turntable. Which was condidered the most sota. Ease of set up and maintenace is a prerequsite. Most I have talked with,say linear only way to go. OK AUDIOGON MEMBERS ITS YOUR TURN. Convince me one way or the other
If the ET 2 is run properly  there is no slop in the bearing as far as in and out. Not with the usual forces that the cartridge puts on it. 
The air bearing "slop" issue has to do with not having physical contact between the arm and the structure of the rest of the table (arm base and plinth).  Micro vibrations caused by the stylus tracing the groove don't have as effective a path to be dissipated elsewhere so the arm itself tends to shake.  That energy can be damped and reduced by a "stiffer" air bearing, but, this is just one of the challenges of designing air bearing arms.  

As for the mass issue, it is not just that these arms tend to have higher effective horizontal mass, it is also the case that the stylus/cantilever has to drag the whole arm from the force applied to the end of the arm without the mechanical advantage that pivoted arms have (pivoted arms are effectively levers).  My other issue with most of these arms has to do with their shortness.  The shorter arm has certain advantages (lower vertical mass, greater rigidity), but it also means greater changes in VTA from different thicknesses of records; both of my cartridges are pretty sensitive to small changes in VTA and I am not someone inclined to fiddle with adjustments for each record.

Whether or not the inherent mechanical challenges of such arms outweigh the advantages, is, I suppose, a matter of debate.  I do know that I have heard some pretty nice sound from systems using air bearings like the ET 2, Walker, Kuzma and a few others.  I even liked the sound of my cheapie Mapenoll but I got rid of it because of the issue of the cheap air pump not delivering enough pressure.  But, I have also heard terrific pivoted arms of all sorts, so I am not convinced of the inherent superiority of any particular design.
@ct0517 , Thanks for your explanation- I bet there are a lot of owners that don't check that!
I used to own a Technics SL-10 that came with a MC cart.

I sold it.

One of the dumbest things I've ever done.  Trouble free, worked beautifully, sounded great to (at least) my 'tin' ears.  Let it go due to 'financial difficulties'.

It's now featured in a museum of modern design classics....hard to find, too.

Other DumAz move...a Kenwood separates system w/monoblocks that now sell for 2~3X new, IF you can find them.

Moral: go tangential.  Spend the megabucks if you feel you must.  But even an 'econo' unit is better than playing with anti-skate and thinking you've got it down.  You're still 'averaging' the error, regardless of how much you've spent thinking you've 'cured' it.

MHO.  Save the R&R for someone who might care.
Atmasphere - I bet there are a lot of owners that don’t check that!

Yeah. there are a couple things to check If buying a used ET2 with no history known.

First one needs to determine if it is a 2.0 or 2.5 model. The 2.0 came out during the MM heyday. The 2.5 has a wider diameter lower resonance spindle, more ideal for MC. Bruce isn’t/wasn’t big on labeling; they both say Eminent technology ET 2. An easy way to verify which is which; on the end cap that holds the I Beam/ Weights. If flush with spindle its a 2.5, and if it overlaps, it’s a 2.0. 90% of those that I see for sale are 20+ year old base ET 2.0’s. From reference to the ET2 thread over 2000 ET 2’s were sold.

One then needs to determine if it is a low or high pressure manifold. Bruce inscribed HPM on the actual high pressure manifolds. When it is taken apart to check the capillary holes this will be found. With the Air Bearing, it’s a very straight forward procedure for any DIY person to clean the capillaries. If one can change out the cartridge on your sink faucet you can do this procedure. By doing this you also gain knowledge on how it works. Clean capillaries out with isopropyl as discussed in the manual. Put back together, insert the filter/moisture trap in the line and you never have to worry about the capillaries again.

Then one can check for PSI design and the pumps.

The base original low pressure ET2’s were supplied with Takatsuki 3.5 psi pumps. Go forward 25 years and Ebay ET2’s are still being sold with - guess what...
The same pump ! LOL ....What does that tell you ? Two things actually.

1) Surprisingly the original one I still have one in a cabinet somewhere, still puts out about 3 psi when tested but I’m sure its performance in quality of air delivery is no longer the same.

2) It is easily bettered and the manual discusses how to upgrade it with a better pump. IMO This combo base ET2 with the Tak pump was more of a business case decision to sell the tonearm. The PUMP journey is a wonderful audiophile adventure on its own. My journey lastly years and taught me a lot about hydraulics. The quality of the air delivery accounts for over 50% IMO of the sonics story on a properly set up ET2 tonearm.

All reviews I have ever read on the tonearm, all for the ET 2.0, were glowing ones. But no professional review that I have read, ever demonstrated any of the advanced setup techniques, and knowledge that we discuss on the ET2 thread such as weights positioning, single, double, triple leaf springs to match up with the compliance of the cartridge, and single shot wiring bypassing the factory wiring setup; This was done (factory wire setup) IMO again as a business model, to enable the tonearm to work in a package with other manufacturers turntables. This base factory wiring setup is the main reason that most have problems with setup. The ET2 Air Bearing is way more SSS "sensitive", "slippery", "smoother" than other captured air bearings that I have seen/heard. Wiring setup affects performance directly. If one has problems leveling turntables and tonearms; well then there will be two main problems/challenges with setup. Some people have problems differentiating between the two.