Ohio Vinylohiles, and other who love analog fronts

I have been reading everything I can get my hands or mouse on about analog front ends. At this point I have a feel for they types of tables that I am looking for, but have limited time to listen as Cleveland is a bit thin in analog HiFi options.

I am pushing my budget to the limit with a $1000 to spend, but I do have some extra stuff to work with as far as trades or sales go.

I have my amp and speakers set and have a modest digital front end that will work till I decide between cd, pc, or tt.

Based on the limited time I have spent with vinyl spinning, I feel pretty strong that this is the road I will continue down into the future.

That said, Everything except my speakers and amplifiers are up for reconsideration. I have been looking at several options (based on reading), but would love to hear your comparisons or better yet, stop buy for some listening.

So far I am leaning toward a VPI JR. or Scout, A Nottingham Horizon, A SOTA Sapphire, J.A. Mitchel, Clear Audio Concept (I think), A oracle Alexandria or Delphi. These are what seem to be the safe investment for trial and error and decks that seem to hold their value.

On the other hand I there is a local Pro-Ject Debut III that has everything needed to get spinning. Just not sure I can live with this for long enough to make the effort worth while.

Also have been looking for a Empire 208 (298) as well.

If I did not say it before, I am now lost. Anyone have suggestions based on their personal journey or are their owners of any of these tables within driving distance of Cleveland that might let me stop by for a listen?
I have made the call and will be headed over later in the week for a visit. Will keep you posted.
Off topic:
Good to read a thread from folks nearby. I moved to NE Ohio about 2 years back from CA. Did not find many audio dealers except Xtend Technologies in Parma. Clint was very accommodating and absolutely helpful during my amp purchase. But I was not much impressed by the Vinyl demo. I will surely make it to Don Better Audio and check out his Vinyl demo.
I have both Oracles and Sotas and havent had any problem with either. I do have an Alexandria up for sale now. They are both well built tables that have had plenty of time to work out the bugs. I also have an Empire 298. They are built like a tank, and with a different arm mounted, are excellent sounding tables.