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?
Might want to try play it again sam in lakewood ohio.
His prices are not the best but theres lots of vintage to new stuff to look at,like a walk down memory lane.
I tried there, but they did not have anything that represented a great table or good value. Seemed like slim pickins. Did have a empire 209, but it was gone on layaway. Did not seem to have a willingness to negotiate, had a nice thorens, but it was way overpriced.
Just be prepared that you will end up spending 5X of your budget by the time you settle in so get the best you can find for each component as you go.
I find something I like and enjoy the music. I play a little, but can't justify the gear at 5x the price.

Will be happy once i settle.
Bernie at Play it Again Sam seems to think used gear should always sell for 70% of retail forever....so his store is pretty much where gear goes to die, I swear his customers must not know of internet or google.
So I can already see Andy buying all the Goodwill stock of used wax but soon you will tire of crap albums by Lionelle Richie and Chicago lol.
Start saving a few hudred for at minimum a used VPI 16.5 RCM....that is if you plan on being serious about quality playback. And sorry washing in sink isnt as good and takes way too long but you will figure that out for yourself. Welcome to analog.....the slippery slope.
It took me a investment of $3500 MSRP (less used ofcourse) to get my vinyl to compete head on with my just so happens $3500 cd player. It simply costs more to do right.....I could do pretty good cd for much less I bet.......but not vinyl sad but true.
But its a fun ride........enjoy!