Bought mine in 2000, a gyrodec SE which has evolved with modified tone arm, plynth cartridge springs, motor and platter. You can always do improvements as and when budget allows. The turntable has lasted me 17 years and is still going strong.Useful list... thinking of getting my first (and hopefully last ) turntable sometime this year...
You cant do wrong with any of the premium tables(Xerxes,Orbe,Hyperspace,Xtension,PR10,Majik,etc.),just make sure to get a MC cart,which matches the arm and the phono stage.I havent heard them myself,but forum feedback suggests that the best midrange phono stages are slightly leftfield,the three box NVA and the unassuming iFi Phono MK2.A bigger budget can get a Longdog or BMC.
fwiw, I'm starting right now with an at lp1240 tt
experimenting the best setup of vta/sra, azimuth/zenit
with a dino-lite usb microscope and an analog productions ultimate test lp,
then vinyl record cleaning systems
etc etc etc
it's being very fun and instrucive with a very steep learning curve so far
but now I'm getting amazing results I should say
that do not compare at all with any of my previous digital play
I'm even looking for the next tt
which I believe maybe around
an high-end pro-ject xtension10 with xlr cable
paired to a pro-ject phono box rs + powerbox phono rs
and maybe an mc cart too
something like this one