Analog - Bang For Buck

I am considering getting a turntable. I'd like to get something that is really good sounding and requires little to no "fiddling" with. The choices that most stand out are something in the Rega line or the VPI Scout or Scoutmaster. I have no experience setting up a turntable, and no nobody who still owns / operates one. I'm happy to learn, but in any case would like something on the set-it-and-forget-it side of the tweaky scale.

Thanks in advance for any advice. -Kirk
Add Music Hall to your list of tables that come reasonably well set-up from the factory.

One thing to consider being that you are willing to learn. There are some tables that don't have VTA and other adjustments at all. IME you learn how to do the adjustments by actually doing them.
Nottingham Spacedeck/Ace-Space arm is a great combo. No fuss, easy set up and excellent sound.

If you want "set and forget", the two VPI choices you list would be excellent. I've recently done some extended auditions to both of these tables, and they are about as "bullet proof" as you can get. If you budget permits, I'd urge you to get the Scoutmaster -- it's a superb table for the money, particularly if you add the clamping ring.
For true set it and forget and good to excellent sound look to the Rega P5 (former the P25), the P7, and the P9. A used P9, if you can find one, is a good value.

Other set it and forget it: Scheu Cello with Rega RB250 arm...about a grand landed from Germany. Do a search for "scheu analogue products" and you'll find it. Excellent product.

I do not much like unipivot arms so the VPI and Nottingham are not choices for me unless they have an arm other than what vpi and nottingham supply.
One table which is very good sounding and totally easy to set up is a Well Tempered. Holds always it's settings, looks good, sounds good and is 2. hand the real bang for the buck.