Looks like I need another stage...suggestions?

Well, I purchased a Lehmann Black cubefrom someone on here on March 19th. Was to be shipped that week and to receive it by the weekend. No stage arrived, wrote back and was told it would be sent out overnight 2 thursdays ago so I would have it by last weekend. Well, still no stage and now no communication back to me in over a week. So, it seems I've lost $360. Needless to say, pretty upset as I'm selling and buying houses and about start med school, so $360 is a good chunk of change for me right now. And unfortunate because I'm afraid to buy anything else here....

Sorry for the rant, just can't beleive it...Anyway, looking for a phono stage in about the same price range and wondering about some other options out there, or is the Black Cube the route to go at that price?
Did this person have good feedback? I've had a few anxious moments with some audiogoners, even with good feedback, but have only been burned a couple of times out of numerous transactions and, fortunately, very inexpensive deals. I'd write a friendly note expressing your frustration and see what happens. I try to deal with errant sellers the way I would deal with some of my less than reliable friends (we all have them). A kind word goes further than my inclination to rant, too.
As for other inexpensive phone stages, the Bellari tube phono usually sells used for about $200 and is quite good.
Additional info:
Running a MMF-5 with the Goldring 1012 (probably will upgrade soon) through an Onix/Melody SP3.

Here's a few I'm deciding between:
Monolithic PS1/HC combo
Musical Surroundings Phenomona
Black Cube
Pro-ject Tube Box (either I or II)
Bottlehead Seduction

What do y'all think?? I would like for this to last about 4 years, if the upgrade bug doesn't hit.

He does have decent feedback, 4 positive and 1 negative. I know he had alot going on with some family stuff, so that's why I was trying to give him time and writing him in a friendly manner multiple times. However, when I haven't heard anything back from him in 10 days, it's worrysome. And, I close on my house soon and will no longer have this address to deliver to.

As for the stage...I'm even wondering if one of the ones listed above is better than the Black cube, so even if it does arrive, I'm sure I could resell here no problem. One issue I have with the Black cube is the "look"...I'll have to hide it as it isn't the best looking component out there. But, if it performs better than the monolithic or phenom or tube box, I could live with it.
Get the Bellari phono. Then get a RAM super low noise 12AX7 tube to replace the electro-harmonic tube that comes with the unit. This will make a dramatic improvment in the sound of the phono unit.
Piedpiper...Not really sure on the cart upgrade...Probably will only be able to spend about 300-350 though, so not a huge upgrade.

As for the Bellari, is it really as good as the Black Cube or the Monolithic? I've heard the bellari wasn't as good as the Tube Box, even with the roll.
+++ He does have decent feedback, 4 positive and 1 negative +++

Ummm, there nothing decent about that feedback - 20% of his transactions are bad. I'd stay away from him.

As for upgrade, go with the Seduction. Way better than anything in it price level (and the ones you mention) by a big margin. If built properly, they are 100% reliable.

Bellari sucks and has had hum problems, the Musical Surroundings Phonomena is crazy good for the money and can handle any cart you want, both my father and I own this stage............its really good.
Should state that the negative feedback was in regards to double boxing in shipping. Yes, not great, but not the worst I've heard. If it would have been "never shipped item," that would have been a different story...Going to try and get my money back through Paypal and/or Discover.

Just wish I could hear all these in a/b/c/d:
Intrigued too much by the Seduction, Tube Box, Monolithic and Phenom...we'll see

In regards to the Seduction, will they build them for you?

Thanks again...Paul
I really feel you should concentrate on finishing your Black Cube transaction before moving on. Threaten to out him on the forums or start a dispute through Agon. Just don't give up so easily. You deserve what you paid for, fight for it!
I agree with Jond! I believe we all have a responsibility to each other to make sure such behavior isn't tolerated here.
I fully agree with Jond. It is quite early in the game to be giving up. It sounds as though you have a full set of email dialogs which in essence should confirm receipt of payment, state intent to deliver and specify the product. These are useful tools. Starting a dispute on Agon is a first logical step. Using the social pressure of the forums is a logical progression, but first use the Agon dispute process. How did you provide payment? Do you have tools here to assist you?

Don't give up on buying on Agon, or Ebay for that matter. If you judiciously use the tools available, you CAN do a pretty thorough job of protecting yourself. If you look past the comparatively high fees, using PayPal and paying with a Credit Card (assuming that you can document in writing the entire transaction) gives you a LOT of horsepower in a dispute assuming you have a good relationship with your card provider. Additionally, the PayPal buyer protection mechanisms can be very helpful in these kind of circumstances.

In my experience, I have had these kind of difficulties (lack of communication) with sellers when problems arose and it is often surprising how cooperative they become when they receive a 'formal complaint' from the listing organization.
If no further contact with the seller, you should be able to get his phone #, and give him a call.
Pablo, I am not sure if the Bottlehead crew will build for you, but I am sure one or two posters that hang out on the Bottlehead forum will. Best is to submit a post and ask.

You should however not just write off the money you spent on the black cube. I'd start a dispute and go after this ass. Even if he is just lazy and will send it shows and absolute lack of respect - better he get kicked off Audiogon.

Sorry but with 4 pos and one neg feedback, that was risky odds...........wish you didnt get burned and hope you can get what is rightly yours.
I agree with pursuing the bird-almost-in-the-hand, but in case you decide to change to the Phonomenon bear in mind that it has been replaced in the Musical Surroundings line by the battery powered Nova. Similar but much better than the Phonomenon with the battery PS upgrade, as a one box unit, it is a ittle cheaper than the two box Phonomenon/battery.
Well, I'm defintely not giving up. Going to file disputes with Agon, Paypal, and Discover tonight. I just know how long these disputes can take and I am wanting to get my TT setup going before I move. That way, if I need to change some components I can do so during the move and everything will be in place when I get to the new house.
Just wanted to update everyone:

Black cube is arriving tomorrow via overnight priority. Had family emergency that I knew of, but didn't know he was originaly from Austrailia and had to go back there last week.

Still might try either the monolithic, rogue stealth, or maybe the jolida for comparisons though...
That is great news. Get a soldering iron and read the instructions carefully and build a Seduction. Bottlehead makes great kits and a well supported forum if you require help. I have very high respect for the Foreplay I built.