Responses from musicslug

Does power conditioning really matter?
if the salesman has any integrity, he'll let your friend take it home and try it out with no obligation. 
Looking for a great el34 based amp
rogue cronus 
Circuit City is Closing, Liquidating
best buy wins. 
Horrible Squee-gy Noise from Stylus
sounds to me like you simply have a defective cartridge - is it under warranty? 
Pet Sounds: Most Overrated Album of All Time?
...and the French supposedly consider Jerry Lewis a genius - but I don't force myself to watch his movies. 
Need $1500 integrated amplification suggestions...
I think the Rogue Cronus should be on your list too... 
What is it the wears out on a cartridge?
I've heard that local climate impacts the rubber O-ring at the base of the cantilever - hot and dry causing it to become brittle more quickly. 
My LP couldn't beat my CD, until now
cartridges take something like 50-100 hours to break in and when they do, it can be somewhat sudden... 
some 70's and 80's receivers seem to be popular
the tandbergs are surprisingly good - even their phono sections. 
Best cover songs?
I shall be released - (Dylan) by the BandIf it be your will - (Leonard Cohen) by Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons) 
My brother dips a toe back into rock music
one more: Elliott Smith XO 
My brother dips a toe back into rock music
if he likes Buffalo Springfield & Joni:1. Nick Drake - Fruit Tree2. Suzanne Vega - S/T, Songs in Red and Gray3. Laurie Anderson - Strange Angels4. Bonnie 'Prince' Billie - Master and Everyone5. Leonard Cohen - Cohen Live (he's Canadian, like J... 
Blues from the 50s/60s/70s
I want to give a second (strong) vote for Howlin' Wolf, especially his early recordings. you might find 70's compilations on vinyl (Chess esp.) for not too much $. I'd also add Lowell Fulsom to the list - hot stuff! 
What makes for a GOOD turntable.
going down the good-sounding vinyl road is just plain expensive; just replacing the cartridge (a nice one) every couple years or so will set you back some serious change. if the glorious sound of a properly set-up TT isn't enough to more than just... 
Reccomend an integrated tube Amp-under 2k
rogue cronus