Turntable? Arm or cartridge?

All other things being equal where do you place the hierarchy in the vinyl replay chain for highest performance. Yes I know they are all important but there comes a point no where budgets are prioritised. This is just banter so I look forward to your views.
The tonearm and cartridge should almost be thought of as a unit and from a sonic perspective they are more important than the drive. If you have to cut corners when purchasing it is best to save money on the cartridge as it is a wear item whereas a turntable can last a lifetime. You can also get surprising performance out of very inexpensive cartridges.
Stylus shape and cartridge construction more important than any decent table or arm IMO.

Understanding arm cartridge compliance compatibility and avoiding detrimental resonance is important, but more leeway than you think.

Setup, alignment, basic tools and personally acquired skills are the prelude,

Proper cleaning used, and occasionally new lp’s also important.

I prefer lighter tracking, wider separation, tighter channel balance. I only have heard my current and first MC, after resisting for many years, glad I tried MC.

Delicate signal thru/to what? Sounds of Phono Stages definitely vary, Tube/SS differences/preferences; perhaps this should be resolved prior to final cartridge evaluation, however MC requires purchase just to evaluate the phono stage or SUT to a new or existing phono stage.

Cables, I recommend last, you may hear differences, I have compared, and hear no difference.

It’s an interactive web of options
For non techie buyer, it is always safe to go for the whole package, rather than going for separates.
If you want to go for the separate route, as suggested by others, the best bang for the buck would come from tonearm+headshell+cartridge combo.
I am not an expert, but I would rather go for the cartridge first, then matching headshell, and then compatible tonearm, then the driver+plinth.
However, I would not recommend that route to beginners. Think about it. Purchasing a cartridge, headshell, tonearm, and then driver and plinth all separately, and setting up together for the optimum performance, is quite overwhelming job for beginners. If you are lucky, you will be able to get the whole at once at reasonable price.
To address your question - I would spend my budget on the Arm, then Cartridge and finally turntable in that order - why?

IMO Without a good arm you'll never get the best out of ANY cartridge

Cartridge next, because it works directly with the arm and needs to be as compatible as possible

Turntable is last, because today, most TT's are pretty good quality and will work well with a many arms

But - as some posters have pointed out - it gets far more complicated.

Just another opinion :-)

Regards - Steve
Turntable is #1 IMO. After you have that ‘base’, arms and carts can come and go and make an improvement, or not. But, you cannot put just any arm and cart on any turntable and reap the same benefits.
Tonearm, then drive unit, then cartridge. Although it would be a most strange combination, I would put a Reed 3P arm, Merrill Gem Dandy Polytable turntable, and a Denon 103R up against anything at the same price. 
This is just banter so I look forward to your views

Banter, eh? Motor, platter, arm and bearing are all vastly overrated. Its all cartridge. Spin the record on a pencil with one hand hold the cart in the other and see. 
Dear @lohanimal : As you said it along other gentlemans all is important.

Now, taking in count that in reality today and almost ever does not exist truly bad TTs or tonearms ( other than unipivots that I don’t like it. ) I think that in any audio system what makes more differences for the good or bad are both transducers: speakers and cartridges.

But here things are that the transducer/cartridge is at the same time ( other than the LP it self. ) the source that pick-up the recorded information, as better the quality performance of the cartridge as better the overall room/system sound reproduction quality levels.

Yes, that cartridge quality levels could be improved with a better tonearm or better tonearm internal wire and could be improved in many ways but this is not the main issue in this tread. Only an opinion.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
Seriously. Can't tell you how refreshing it is for someone to just come right out and admit up front this is all bull. So many of these questions, its obvious they're pure fantasy, but the OP is pretending, and so everyone pretends along. Like little girls playing tea, we hold the cups with our little fingers sticking out, so nice and proper. Oh yes its crucially important in the vinyl replay chain hierarchy harrumph harrumph. 

Banter. Gotta love it. There comes a point no where budgets are prioritized. Brother. Budgets are always prioritized. Nobody ever does it any other way. Heck even in the banter thread by the banter thread leader, or is it blather? Whatever. The what if money were no object thread. Even there people can't help but pretend they have a budget. 

Point of order: Banter. Blather. What's the difference?
Banter - rofl
Isn't that what most of what this forum is about?
I must say personally I go in circles (if you don't mind the pun) I find it hard to make up my own mind on this.
I think the traditional view is put most of the money in the TT then arm then cartridge. That said - in my systems at least - arm switches aren't quite so profound as Cartridge changes. I've always pondered the merit in buying a very 'juicy' cartridge on a mid price deck like those that I have. I think the Zanden designer uses a humble Denon DL103 for most of his listening. 
And yeah it is banter because we can discuss - try it out where possible - compare results and simply not fall out about it. I'm just overwhelmed at present with the profound problems of the world during Covid 19 and thought it would be nice to speak to fellow music and audio lovers over a topic we may enjoy...
Regards gentlemen:


It's pretty much accepted that each component in a system makes its own more or less significant contribution but transducers are where the rubber meets the road.

IMHO, source precedes support.